Hearing a message of hope in poetic kindergarten voices

Annie Hall Guest commentary

One of my true soul buddies, David LaMotte, wrote a song “Hope.” We are in dire need of hope.

Out of the clear blue, a six-year-old blithe spirit danced up to me recently as I sat in Black Mountain Presbyterian Church waiting to serve communion. Reid Pomeroy sang in my ear, accompanied by dancing steps.

She whispered, “I cannot finish this song. This song and this dance are secret surprises at my graduation from kindergarten at Black Mountain Primary School. You have to come to my graduation to hear the rest. Will you come to my graduation?”

Instantly I reordered my life. Instead of driving to Raleigh on Friday, I decided to attend Reid’s graduation, driving to Raleigh on Saturday. Best decision I ever made!

I entered Black Mountain Primary School, following the crowd of children, parents, and grandparents to a stage filled with three groups of kindergartners dressed to the nines singing with gusto. The lyrics filled me with tears, raising goosebumps on my body.

One of the songs, accompanied by gyrating arms swinging, bodies swaying was “There‘s a Leader in Me.”

There’s no way I can replicate complete lyrics. So here are edited excerpts:

We are the future leaders/That’s what they say

But if we wait for the future/We’ll be too late

So we won’t wait until tomorrow/Our time is now

And with these seven habits, we’ll show you how

You gotta be proactive. Begin with the end in mind

Put first things first. Think ‘win-win’ every time.

Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Synergize with your friends, ‘cause it’s always better when we work together.

Sharpen the saw, be the best ‘me.’/So you can see.

There’s a leader in me. There’s a leader in me.

I can lead myself, I can lead my friends.

I can do anything.

There’s a leader in me.

Such life-giving gift of love, joy and hope!

Reid spotted me in the crowd. She raced to give me a hug. I gave her a gift. Without hesitation, she plucked a giant sunflower from her bouquet, offering it to me. It sits at my kitchen sink, making me smile.

Thank you, God, for kindergartners, for loving parents, for dedicated teachers and for principals like Jennifer Greene who bring life and hope to old folks like me!