When Our Kids Teach Us Grace
This past Tuesday, my amazing daughter had her science fair. As a family, we pushed her to get organized, think out of the box, and be creative. After nearly two months of pushing our awesome teen and everything was as complete as it would be, we told our nervous scientist, she was prepared, she knew her stuff, and to just have fun.
So I dropped her off at school, helped her bring in all the stuff, hugged her and wished her luck with an enthusiastic: “Break a leg”. I didn’t want to look at any of the other kid’s displays, in case I got nervous for my kid. So, I put on a confident and encouraging face and left sending her all the positive energy I could manifest.
The first part of her science fair was closed to us nosy parents, and open to fellow students and students from younger grades. When I picked my daughter up after school, she was very excited about how it went. With surprise and gratitude in her voice, she let me know about the encouragement and questions from her classmates, her teachers, and how one kid from grade five was so much in awe of her project, that he brought all his classmates and other grade fivers to see it. The cuteness of that aside, it was her sense of accomplishment and pride for being able to explain clearly what she did that filled me with pride and joy.
The second part of the science fair was open to parents. Most of us milled around trying to show interest in every display, however mainly wanting to hang around our own kid’s displays to see what reactions they got. My kid gave us her whole presentation and then answered questions from other students and parents with confidence and a smile. I loved it! I was rooting for her all the way!
The last part of the fair was the awards ceremony. As they handed out the awards starting with bronze to gold, my hopes were all over the place as each student name was mentioned. With each new mention, I watched her sitting with her friends. She cheered and whooped as some friends and classmates won. She didn’t win anything and I felt a twinge of disappointment for her and worried she’d be disappointed too, but I kept it inside. Afterward, she ran to congratulated her friends and then came to see me with a genuine smile of glee on her face to say: “Dad, I am so happy for my friends who won and I’m glad this is over.”
Well, I almost cried as I hugged her and told her the only words I could get out: “I am so very, very proud of you.” Later we talked a little more and she explained which of her friend’s projects she liked the most, which she was proud of, and how glad she was they won because of the great jobs they did. At no time did she express any disappointments. She was very pleased with the whole event and was happy to share what she learned from the experience. Her Mum, Step-Mom, and I secretly felt some envy towards some of the projects that looked to be done with a little too much extra help and lied each other we’d be more involved next time, knowing full well that our kid did an amazing job without our meddling in it and we’d let her fly on her own next time as well. Why? Because…
My amazing kid taught me the true meaning of being graceful. She did a wonderful job all on her own, she helped and encouraged her friends all on her own, she sincerely congratulated the winners, and she was the pinnacle of a grace without any sign of envy or jealousy. What an extraordinary experience to be looking at my baby and seeing the amazing young lady she is growing into, and I couldn’t be prouder!
My dear Bean, you are my hero and I am so blessed to have such a wise and amazing daughter. Keep on being you. You are amazing!