Diary of a First Grader

By Lucille Domizio

    When I was in the first grade I thought my teacher was bald. She wore a big black bonnet and a huge black dress. All I could see were her hands and her face. One of the kids asked if she was married and she replied “I’m married to God.” I barely knew who God was but I knew he didn’t look like any of the other fathers in our neighborhood. 

    At supper that night, I told my parents that Sister Mary Gabriel was married to God and had no hair. My mother said “Oh.” My father didn’t say anything. Short of a house-fire, his fish sticks came first. 

    I asked my grandparents about it. My grandpa said, “Who told the child that the Sister shaved her head?”  Even though they’d moved here from Italy about 60 years ago, they always got everything wrong.  Then my grandma chimed in, “Maybe the Pope wants nuns to get married now.”  Then my uncle shouted “Where’s Sunday’s Bulletin? Maybe they have something about it in there.”  While my uncle was yelling and calling the rectory, my mom and I escaped through the back door. 

    The next day we played soccer at recess and the ball landed on a small hill. I ran up the hill and saw a tall fence with little spaces between each slat so I got closer to see what was back there. I saw three women hanging laundry and laughing. One of them turned around and it was my teacher, Sister Mary Gabriel. No bonnet, tons of hair. 

     Does God know about this? 

     My heart was pounding as I ran back down the hill. 

    At supper I told my parents what happened behind the fence. Mom said nuns are people just like us, but choose to dedicate their lives to God. I feel that I’ve got it in me to be a saint. But I’ll never wear a hat.       

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