Ketchup With Us #24

If at first you don’t succeed … try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it. – W.C. Fields

* * * * * * * * * *

It’s Back to School season so we’re talking about first days today. All kinds. For everything we do, there’s always a first day. And we want to hear about one of yours. It can be anything you want … from first day at band camp to first day as a licensed phlebotomist to first day on a grapefruit diet. And Hey! As a special testament to firsts, why don’t you see if you can recruit just one linker who will be playing Ketchup for the first time?

(Oh, and for the first time, I will be ignoring our 57 words or less suggestion. My boy deserves more.)


Kindergarten. It’s a hard enough transition for a little person. And Dean had to do it twice. On August 18, 2005, he walked into his first real classroom to meet his friendly teacher, Paula Naquin. He attended school there for only 7 days. Then, on September 6, 2005, he had to do it all over again at another school, 80 miles away from the original one and not knowing a single soul. Thanks to that storm we’re all so tired of talking about here in New Orleans.

I’m still so proud of his courage. I was an emotional mess. Until his new teacher walked up, all warm and fuzzy, to welcome her new student who had just floated in from New Orleans. “Hi, Dean,” she said, literally outstretching her arms to him. “My name is Paula Naquin.” My teary eyes bulged out of their sockets and my mouth fell open when I heard her words. His new teacher had the exact same name as his original one??? I took that as a sign from the universe that everything was going to be just fine.

And now, as I sit and reflect upon these significant first days in his life, I hope for him the same courage and strength that he managed so beautifully at age 5. For today is yet another first day for him. Today, he starts high school, a whole new chapter in his life. And again, I know everything is going to be just fine. But, just as I was in his new classroom in 2005, I am an emotional mess all over again.

Perhaps I should check his high school faculty roster for a P. Naquin.


Good luck, Dean.

I know you’re going to knock it out of the park, my boy.

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For a QUICK EXPLANATION of this link-up, click here. In short, Mel and I will post a picture or video with a prompt on the 1st and 15th of every month. And, with each prompt, we’ll feature a linker from the previous KWU. Which reminds me …

Our esteemed Ketchup With Us Featured Writer for today is …

My Skewed View by Jen Kehl


The rules are … THERE ARE NO RULES! Just guidelines. And we’d be truly honored if you posted our button on your page and followed us on Facebook (Michele /Mel) and Twitter (Michele/Mel).


‘KETCHUP WITH US’ – Prompt 24

In 57 words or less, tell us about a significant first day in your life … of school, work, parenthood, rehab, veganism, prison, whatever you want.



12 responses to “Ketchup With Us #24

  1. Stephanie @smtimmons

    Dang it, Michele, stop making me so weepy!!! I’m trying to avoid working over here! I can’t begin to imagine my baby’s first day of school. Not to mention dealing with the “Hurricane that shall not be named” at the same time. Good luck to handsome Dean. And may God prepare you for the long line of heartbroken girls he’s going to leave in his wake. 😉

  2. Oh, that’s simply touching. That makes me get all teared up that he got a teacher with the same fucking name. Of all the damned possibilities.

  3. High school? Where did the time go? Good luck Dean, hope high school is great.

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  5. Jesuit hasn’t been this lucky since a boy named Jeff was there !!! I hope everyone there learns to love and understand him as we do. If they do, they’ll know just how extraordinarily remarkable he can be!!

  6. Rock on, young man.
    Your mom’s entire online community is proud of you.

  7. I know I’ve said it before, but, WAY TO GO, Dean! Looking very handsome there, young man.
    And WAY TO GO, to you too, mom. Love your passion.

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  9. Prison, rehab…haha! Your little guy/big guy – so sweet. I was looking at my 13yo thinking the same thing. Wow, but it does go fast, right?

  10. Wait – the teacher had the SAME NAME? That’s amazing!!!

    Wow, high school. And I thought 2nd grade and a new school was craziness!!! 🙂


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  12. Pingback: Ketchup #50 – Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye | The Graying Chronicles

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