Six kindergarten girls sat in six little chairs that lined the breezeway outside the cafeteria. I had told them to plant their little backsides there in those chairs and remain until otherwise directed. Sit they did, arms folded, pouting lips puffed out, polished dress shoes dangling and kicking. They were mad for life.
Kindergarten graduation would start in forty minutes.
Kimberly spoke first, tight braids sticking to her tear-wet face. And why are you mad? Angela pushed me! I did not! (Now it was Angela’s turn). You made me fall out of my chair! You’re a liar! I did not! And so on. . .This apparent misunderstanding arose out of a scuffle during the final practice run through that morning. Jessica, the most talkative of the six, told the story this way:
Wanda forgot where she was supposed to go and sat in Antoinique’s chair. Kimberly which chair she was supposed to sit in and then she sat in Angela’s chair. Well that’s the wrong chair. Mrs. De’Angelo told her that! Then Angela got mad and pushed Kimberly and she fell on the three other little girls. It’s all Wanda’s fault.
According to RuPaul, your state of mind eventually shows up on your face. His advice, therefore, is to think beautiful thoughts. I did not see evidence of a beautiful thought in this bunch. Their faces got stuck in I’m-mad knots, a true contrast to their fluffy dresses and primped and adorable heads. Graduation would begin in less than thirty minutes.
I had managed to get them parked in these chairs, but now they were refusing to move. Stubborn little bodies ready to stick it out for the long haul, full to the brim with the need to be right.
One abiding experience I’ve had with unsolvable problems. They don’t exist. A problem is something that exists in a person’s mind. Since minds make problems up, a problem is as solid as thought itself – gone when the mind that owns a particular thought changes or ceases to exist. Six kindergarten girls committed to perpetual hate – anyone could see that their stubborn pride would lose energy and cease to exist.
However, I had less than twenty minutes.
Family members had started to arrive. They scanned my six little damsels who still had their arms folded, each one a fortress ready to resist change for all time. Then Antoinique slipped off the chair and went to the restroom. Wanda decided to follow her. Two more hopped from their seats when Auntie Clair came up the walkway with congratulation balloons.
We were down to two – plus me. So, I went inside.
The last two standing (or sitting in this case) lost their audience. I peaked out from inside the auditorium, now filling with all kinds of people. Angela looked at Kimberly and Kimberly looked back. They grinned and ran to the room back stage where their classmates had already lined up. So ended another battle. So vanished another cause – as important and permanent as all that had gone before – and all that might come after.