Friday, February 11, 2011

The Things We Remember

It's so interesting how things become part of our internal dialog. You never know what's going to stick with you and shape the way you see the world. I am amazed at how vividly I can remember things from elementary school, so many years ago. One tape that keeps playing in my brain is from an awards ceremony at the end of sixth grade.

At this assembly, the teachers gave out awards of excellence in varied subjects. I waited patiently through all the awards and was heart-broken to discover that I had not received one. Another friend of mine, Sarah, hadn't received one either and we discussed how we felt disappointed because we were pretty much the top of the class in everything all year. We decided to approach one of the 6th grade teachers about this; even at age 11 I was not afraid to speak out.

I'll never forget the teacher's response. He was surprised - "Oh, you didn't receive an award? That's a mistake! We had a very special award for you." Then he walked over to his desk and pulled out our leadership awards. For some reason, I thought that this was part of it. Since we were such great leaders and so special, getting our awards after the fact like this was kind of like a test. I can't tell you how long that stuck with me.

Now that I'm older, I realize that he probably just forgot our awards in the desk and that was that. Just one more assembly in a blur of assemblies throughout the years. It wasn't a lesson teaching us how we were precious snowflakes and had to hold ourselves out to a higher standard than everyone else.

But you know? I think it has turned out to be a great lesson. Sometimes you can work really hard and not be recognized for it. Parenting is like this for me every day. No one congratulates me in front of my peers for doing a great job getting Anna dressed, playing with her 15 minutes at drop off, cutting my lunch hour to spend more time with her, reading her tons of books every day and etc. etc. etc. But I still do it because I love it. It's hard work but it's satisfying. Living each day fully is its own reward.

Enjoy your weekends everyone! We'll be trying out our new wetsuit and flotation device in the ocean as well as hitting up the Santa Anita racetrack for my sister's birthday. Hopefully I'll have some photos to share of all the fun.