It's A Wonderful World This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I was sitting down in front of the T.V. watching the Boston Pops on PBS (Channel 2). The screen turned black and white as they went into another song. Louis Armstrong appeared on the screen with that famous hanky that he used when he sang "It's A Wonderful World," one of the best songs ever written. My grandfather and his brother stopped talking, and looked at the television, and my mom stopped reading: everyone focused on Louis Armstrong. The song ended and slowly conversation picked up between the two golden aged brothers and my mom went back to reading. She gently brushed her hand across her eyes, this triggered a bad memory that happened to turn out all right. Maybe it was one of the best things that ever happened to me ...

It was Friday, I was in kindergarten, and in the nurse's office. My memory is foggy, so the image is like looking into a funhouse mirror. You can tell what you're looking at, but it's all messed up. The nurse's office had white walls and two hospital cots. I remember vividly a Spiderman height chart, right out of a comic book. I guess I was sitting on one of the beds swinging my legs back and forth. I was wearing OshKosh overalls and a pea soup green and white striped shirt, and oversized sneakers. I remember my clothes feeling soft; they were washed over and over again, and smelled like detergent, probably for the same reason. I guess I decided to wait the day out, because the next thing I remember was walking down the kindergarten hallway. The smell of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches hung in the oxygen (the kind of stuff kindergarten air is made of). I pushed open the heavy door to see 30 laughing, playing and gluing kindergartners. I got a crayon and a piece of paper. I surged all my five-year-old strength into my fingers to make the lines dark and bold. The bell rang and to my surprise all the other children picked up their chairs, turned them upside down and put them up on their desks. "Gee whiz, the bell sure rang early today," I thought. So I got my Spiderman lunchbox and I went out the door faster than you can say, "That kindergartner went out the door."

When I boarded the bus that familiar smell of coffee and bubble gum filled my nose. After sitting down in one of the two front seats, I realized today was a half-day.

Louis Armstrong's "It's A Wonderful World" came over the bus radio ... "I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom, for me and you, and I say to myself what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue, clouds of grey ..." Even though I was swinging my legs just barely listening, I believe this is one of the most touching and greatest songs ever written.
My five-year-old nerves of steel turned to spaghetti; my cold eyes were warmed by tears. In the confusion I ran to Mrs. Smith or Schmitt or whatever our neighbor's name was. She brought me in her house and gave me a hot cup of soup. As I leaned over the steam, I got a drippy nose.

My mom walked in with my baby sister clinging to her leg. Mom was crying, but smiling too, but not with her face. Even now, at age 14, when I look at my mom's face I see that same smile in her eyes ... "And I say to myself what a wonderful world."

Maybe there still is a little queazy kindergartner in me. Maybe there's a kindergartner in you. Maybe there's even a kindergartner in my grandmother. A few years ago a Boston College football game was on TV. I was sitting right in front of the TV, watching. My mom and dad were sitting behind us in lounge chairs, and my grandparents were sitting on the other side of the room. The clock was running out for B.C. and Doug Flutie, as quarterback, pulled the ball and threw it almost the entire length of the field. The receiver caught it and made a touchdown. I didn't know much about football, and I am sure my grandmother didn't either, but suddenly electricity surged through her blood and out of her sixty-year-old mouth. Thock! A pillow hit me in the head. She was throwing pillows (I guess) because she was so excited. A year later on a calm spring day, my grandfather and grandmother had been to the grocery store when it happened again. My grandmother started to jump up and down, she practically strangled my grandfather, while pointing at Doug Flutie who was in the store. I realized that she is a part of me and there is a kindergartner in her, too. "I see tree of green, red roses too, I see them bloom, for me and you, and I say to myself ...what a wonderful world!"n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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Mandy said...
Feb. 14, 2009 at 11:14 pm
I love the teen ink stories! Some of them remind me a lot of what happens in my life and I really like that. They can be so real.
 
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