Capturing a 6-year-old’s amazing day

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Mom snapped a picture of me the day I came home with my "Student of the Month" pin in first grade.

What do you count among the most amazing days in your life?

Do you have a top-five-best-days-ever (so far) list in your head? So, if I challenged you to name them (or scrapbook them) you would be ready just like that? Or when you think about amazing days, does a different memory pop in each time, making it difficult to name the very best?

What I know is that I’ve had a lot of amazing days so far. And yes, I know I’m blessed. Sure, I’ve had a ton more run-of-the-mill, completely unmemorable days than I have had amazing ones. But how amazing could they be if you had them all the time, right? Even so, I didn’t have a list in my head of which of my many good days would, in fact, qualify as great.

Yet that’s what Shimelle challenged us to do in our second assignment for her “Blogging for Scrapbookers” class. So, I gave myself five minutes to brainstorm a short list (therefore, it’s not at all exhaustive) of those memories that truly flood my heart with warmth:

  • My wedding day
  • The day Matt asked me to marry him
  • Every Christmas when I was a kid
  • Finally figuring out how to ride a bike
  • The day I received the letter offering me a full scholarship to grad school
  • The first day of my college summer internship in NYC
  • The day we rescued our cat, Oliver, from the middle of traffic on a highway
  • The summer morning my mom said, “Get up. Let’s go to Sea World today!” for no reason at all
  • Having my dad ask me to help him Christmas shop for my mom
  • Singing “Away in a Manger” for the Christmas program in kindergarten
  • Christmas caroling dressed as Dickens characters with my friends in high school
  • Picking out our family dog, Spenser, and bringing him home
  • The first day of rehearsal after being cast in the community theater musical, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”
  • Being named “Student of the Month” in first grade

Every one of these memories deserves its own scrapbook layout, but it’s the last item on this list that I’ve chosen to use as the basis for my assignment:

I loved school from the start. Pretty much everything about it made me happy. Mrs. Slike was a kind yet strict teacher—just what I needed. I liked the order, the little responsibilities, the assigned seats, changing to different subjects throughout the day, raising my hand to answer the teacher’s questions, the approval on the teacher’s face when I got answers right, wearing my uniform, talking to the other kids and learning, learning, learning. I liked walking to and from school with my younger brother (most of the time) and staying after school to clean the blackboards. I even usually liked doing my homework.

You get the idea. I was a school nerd.

On the day of this photo I don’t remember anything special about the school day except that it was our once monthly dress-up opportunity (which is why I’m wearing this navy dress with the doily collar and cuffs—that my mom made for me—instead of my uniform).

But right before the end of the day the principal got on the PA system and announced TO THE WHOLE SCHOOL that I had been selected as the Student of the Month! I was more than excited. Mrs. Slike pinned the SOTM badge on my dress and sent us all home. I was on a cloud.

When I got home, before even taking off my coat, I said to my mom, “Guess who you’re talking to.” She played along and asked, “OK, who am I talking to?” With all the drama in me I threw open my coat and announced, “The Student of the Month, that’s who!”

Of course, Mom and Dad were very proud of me. And thankfully they took this photo to commemorate my moment. I’m not sure of this detail, but I may have insisted on wearing my pin every day of that month.

This was a great day in the life of a six-year-old. But more importantly, it cemented for me very early that hard work gets recognized. And I never looked back.

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  1. What a wonderful story. I’m so proud of your 6-year-old self, too. Glad your parents took the photo and you’ve got a great lesson to add to it.

    • Janice Daquila-Pardo says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Claudia! That was a fun post to write. Such a good memory. :-) I hope you’re enjoying our class as much as I am so far, and I’m heading to your blog next!

  2. Great brainstorming!!! I love old photos like this, great story! xoxo

  3. You’re such a talented story writer! Thanks for sharing — your voice really comes through in this post. I love the photo, too!

    • Janice Daquila-Pardo says:

      Thanks so much, Katie. You know, my brother can’t believe I can remember those details, but can you imagine forgetting? I just wish they hadn’t made me give the pin back for the next student. 😉

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