Friday, May 24, 2013

Grandaddy Shawn

We spent this Friday evening of Memorial Day weekend at "Pump It Up" for a six year old birthday party.  Our family has made  many new friends this year among the parents and kids of baseball and ballet. We still feel so young it's almost easy to forget...that is until birthday boy's dad asked  Shawn if he was another mom's dad:(  ...and the other mom was embarrassed???  Cracked me up until I realized that he must have thought her son who is Christian's best friend was our grandson.  We started the season jokingly referring to ourselves as the mawmaw and pawpaw of the ball team.  Not so far from the truth, I guess.

Amberly got her back handspring yesterday and is doing round-off/back handprings today!  It tickles me pink because that energy that aged me and her daddy enough for us to be mistaken for grandparents is what drives her to master gymnastics without actually taking the class.   In fact, that energy that keeps her from sitting still long enough to make those straight "A's" she so desperately craves (though I know she could if I could manage to keep her still for at least 10 minutes in a row), is exactly what makes her eyes twinkle.   Her sister, typical oldest, high achiever, former JHS Cheer Captain, Valedictorian, firstborn type watched in shameless envy this afternoon as Am tumbled in the living room.  She said that all she ever wanted for all of the six years she cheered was to master her back handspring.  This same sister, the most driven person I know, never met that goal despite hours of instruction in gymnastics.  Now to her credit, she did instruct Amberly on the finer points of one's back handspring technique.  After watching my girls together all afternoon and seeing Jana truly delight in the accomplishment of her baby sister, I am so thankful that God made our Amberly exactly as she is.  My mold for daughters would surely have been stale by this third Davenport girl. 

Other thoughts...I ordered the book "Beautiful Girlhood".  While I'm learning to embrace high energy, I have not liked the sassiness that came with 4th grade.  We already had the companion/study guide.   I'm planning to spend summer mornings with Amberly going through this book and study guide.  We also came up with "Fieldtrip Friday".  If they do their reading and chores each day of the week then on Friday we will do a fun activity.  Today we went to Oak Mountain State Park and hiked to Peavine Falls and then tonight, "Pump it Up". and if I weren't so tired, I'd prove it!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Good Conduct

A well-meaning mom wrote on her facebook wall that she was thankful to the PIT (Parent Involvement Team) for the good conduct field trip.  She was sharing publicly how thankful she was that good behavior is rewarded because, in her words, some children may not be capable of making all A's but EVERY child can sit down, be quiet and respect their elders. 

I am so glad that my mama taught me years ago to, as popular country song puts it, "hide my crazy and be a lady"!!!  I did not comment in that forum (I ran to my blog with just one follower instead).  I had to take a deep breath and remember that not too many years ago, I would have said the same thing.  Shoot, I probably would have been the PTI mama who headed up the drive to raise the money to take the "good" children on the fieldtrip!  In all seriousness, I mean no disrespect to the children who have someone in their life who has high expectations for them or even better, who strive to be obedient because they have been carried to church and understand fully that this is what Jesus and their parents expect.  They should be rewarded.  But what about the others.  What about the child who takes the safest does of medication allowed just to be able to focus but it wears off somewhere between lunch and 4th period and doesn't take effect again until 30 minutes after the lunch dose?  What about the little boy who is acting out because mom and dad fight all the time? What about the child who lives with secrets no child should ever have to live with.  What about the one who goes home to take care of themselves and maybe younger siblings because no one else cares enough about them to see that they even have clean clothes. 

I'm sorry but I respectfully disagree.  EVERY child can not sit down, be quiet and respect their elders.  Sadly these are most likely the same children who live with the shame of always falling short of everyone's expectations, like making all A's.  To SOME children, grades and conduct are the least of their worries, school is just a place to get a hot meal, somewhere relatively safe.  SOME children simply haven't been taught.  Then there is the one, like my little girl, who is just too full of spunk and sparkle, on the far end of ADHD, with parents at home who love her and do their very best to teach her to sit down, be quiet and respect her elders...the one that didn't get to go on the field trip but spent the day enjoying meeting the two very nice teachers she got to spend the day with...the one who couldn't understand why I was so upset because she didn't feel left out.  She liked the other teacher's room because it was  quiet:)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Little Red Riding Hood

Tonight, I watched my ten year old daughter dance the role of "Little Red Riding Hood" in front of an audience of 200 people at her ballet school's spring performance.  She took my breath away.  We enrolled her in ballet just two years ago strictly to lengthen her muscles...because  a little girl who can out run all the boys from 2nd to 10th grade is supposed to run track!!!  She can't try out for the track team until sixth grade and we just couldn't sit around and do nothing until then!  But nothing could have prepared me for the sight of her in a red flowing cape waltzing in and out of a living fairy tale.  I will never forget. 

The confidence she had on stage was no where to be found this morning.  I found her crying in the bathroom.  She was crying because she was afraid everyone would be disappointed because Little Red Riding Hood is not supposed to be black.  I assured her that this was not true but I felt so guilty that I could not find the right words to comfort her.  I felt guilty that she is the only black child at ballet.  In fact, she and her little brother are often the only black children at church, at school and on the ball team. I felt guilty for being her mother.  On the way to dress rehearsal, I believe the Lord did give me the words to say.  I asked her who her father was.  She said, "Daddy".  I said no, your other father.  She said, Jesus.  I shared with her that since He is the king, then she is a princess, Daughter of the King.  He does not make mistakes.  He made the color of your skin.  He placed you in your family and He directs your path.  It was His choice to bless you with this role.  You say thank you and you give it back to Him by doing your best.  The doubts she was facing, her confidence that was shaken was not from her Father.  It was from Satan, the accuser.  This was enough for me.  I knew that we had a God moment and we were both relieved by His provision. 

However, this was not enough for her Father.  Not for His princess.  You see, there is a banquet hall next door to the theater and there happened to be a wedding booked at the same time as Little Red Riding Hood.  There also happened to be a large number of children and teenagers in attendance at this wedding...and they happened to be African American.  Five minutes before the curtains opened, in they walked and filled the back two rows of the left side of the auditorium.  Everyone thought they were there for her...and I believe they were.