I picked up my daughter from school today at noon. She had an appointment and was waiting for me in the office. She was working doggedly on some math, and followed me out of the office with a sly smile on her face. I asked her, "What's up?" She grinned and said, "I'll tell you in the car."
So we got in the car and she took a deep breath. "Well, it's some good news and some bad news, but mainly good," she said, then handed me a piece of paper. "From now on, I'm going to be doing sixth grade math!" The tone in her voice radiated pride and I was thrilled for her. "Really?" I asked. "What's the bad part?" She responded, "Nothing really...I'm just scared the other kids will think I'm smart and won't like me if I get an answer wrong."
Well, we all get answers wrong. Shoot, how many wrong answers am I allowed in a day? Because some days I think I truly exceed any reasonable limit in wrong answers! And sometimes people really DON'T like me when the answer is wrong. But such is life, and we discussed those things on the way to her appointment. We both were proud of this milestone.
But alas, the excitement was not over. After my daughter's appointment, my phone rang. It was the school counselor, calling to tell me that my daughter had been chosen as Student of the Month. The reason she was chosen was because of her "enthusiasm for learning". She will be honored at an assembly and have her picture published in the local paper.
My daughter has struggled over the last two years, as we all have, with the pain of watching her brother's emotional and mental health decline. She has been victim of his tantrums, seen his out of control behavior, and felt the fear and helplessness that accompanies those moments. And yet she is thriving. She is truly an amazing child.
Tonight I don't have a lot of words to express how I feel about her. I love her heart and her soul; I admire her tenacity. Again, I am reminded of how much she is my teacher, my hero, my inspiration. I am so proud to be able to say I know this little girl, and even prouder to be able to call her "daughter".
Hooray for the people who push through despite adversity. Hooray for the accomplishments those people achieve. Hooray for those who grab life and all its nuances and make the best of it. Hooray for little girls who take lemons and turn them into fancy, ice-cold lemonade with cherry flavoring on top. Hooray!
And thanks for the reminder that the rest of us can do the same!