On Being President

Antonio di Grazia 5th Grade President!

Antonio di Grazia 5th Grade President!

The presidency started off like many presidencies. When Crystel announced that Antonio was running for 5th grade class president, he denied it, “She’s lying!”

“Oh my goodness,” I said. “Antonio, your sister was excited for you. She just thought that you threw your hat in the ring. That’s all.”

I didn’t tell him that I was excited, too.

Antonio just wasn’t ready to share it with the world. The next day he confirmed that he was running for President. Candidates are allowed to waffle.

5th grade Presidency leads to White House. First Dog.

5th grade Presidency leads to White House. First Dog.

I asked him if he wanted me to write a speech for him. He said, “No.”

I did it anyway. I knew that he would probably need a speech and why not have one ready? I could see it in my mind. He’d pull it out of his backpack, it would be typed, easy to ready. And, oh, so eloquent.

Have you ever felt different? I have too. Starting with this line was sure to grab everyone’s heart. And, how vulnerable for a fifth grade boy. I could see Antonio on stage, speaking clearer than he has ever spoke. (In reality, he absolutely hates being the center of attention. And has refused since preschool to be on a stage).

Carving of President di Grazia scheduled on Mount Rushmore.

Carving of President di Grazia scheduled on Mount Rushmore.

Then I went on to say how I like Pokémon and soccer. Thinking that would bring in the male vote.

I was really into this. I thought if he was willing to stick his neck out at least I should offer my assistance. I didn’t worry too much about his popularity. His grades looked like he had been campaigning all last quarter.

After I finished writing the speech, I put it in a plastic sheaf so it wouldn’t get crinkled, and I slipped it into his science notebook.

Coming home from running errands, I saw that the speech was gone and that he had gone back to bed.

Probably to look the speech over.

My New Home. In Retirement.

My New Home. In Retirement.

But another part of me knew better and I checked the garbage. And, there it was. My speech all torn up in itty bitty pieces with the plastic sheath on top.

He told me that the speech was suppose to be WHY you wanted to be President. “Can you just say, “Because it’s pretty cool, and I’d feel awesome?”

He didn’t want to draw any posters – it was too much work. Too, bad. If he had included Pokemon drawings on his campaign posters, they would have been rad.

I knew WE had an uphill battle for this presidency. Even his sister wasn’t going to vote for him.

Unpacking

Unpacking

The big snowstorm put off the vote for a week. After the vote (no Antonio didn’t win), we were sitting talking about this blog, he said with a grin, those people who put posters up have to take every piece of tape off the wall, even the sticky part.

And now that I’m sitting with THEE Crystel, she tells me that Antonio didn’t even vote for himself and he voted for the person who won.

Oh my goodness.

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This entry was posted in Grade School, Motherhood, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , by Elizabeth di Grazia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Elizabeth di Grazia

An artist, I follow the nudge inside of me. This nudge led me to write Peace Corps stories, find the front door to the Loft, and to graduate from Hamline’s MFA program. The story that became my thesis for Hamline is woven into my book manuscript: HOUSE OF FIRE: From the Ashes, A Family, a memoir of healing and redemption. It’s a story about family. And a story about love–for my partner Jody and the son and daughter we adopted from Guatemala. Most days, I can be found working as a Human Resource Manager for a foundry in Minneapolis. When I am not at the foundry I may be volunteering as a Police Reserve Officer for Richfield, MN or kicking butt at Kor Am Tae Kwon Do.

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