I was invited to be the main speaker at Peary's 5th grade promotion ceremony. The principal, Donna Ferrell, wanted words said in Spanish and English. I was not sure what to expect and thought well, I'll just say something in Spanish and the other speakers can do the English. Pues no, I was it. I did present a short speech, rogando paciencia con mi torpeza - in both languages, ha! Congratulating los presentes, emphasizing the hard times ahead and animando a LEER, leer mucho y a los grandes, pues que los vean leer. Oh! I also reminded them that we are community, that they are not alone, que hay que jalar juntos, etc.
Una vez ahí, I saw why Ms. Ferrell wanted a Spanish speaker, la gran mayoría de niños - mexicanos! Viva! The kids chingandole in the safety patrol in the snow and the slush! Latinos! Mexicanos inmigrados! I had to feel sorry for the teacher reading the names and the Masons giving out their prizes - they had a hard time pronouncing Ángeles... and Noe... but I do give them credit for making the effort. My own kids are cursed with a double 'l' in their last name; in okie, Bonilla sounds like Vanilla which they are definitely not - more café con leche.
Pero a la hora de la hora, it was the kids' day. They didn't care! They shone in all their finery - girls wobbling on high heels, boys' hair firmly gelled into place. Shiny satin, floor length dresses, white suits, even a fedora - mucha elegancia para el gimnasio. I hope they are ready para lo que vengan y se ve que los teachers at Peary did their best and wish them the best... con mucho cariño