Friday, October 9, 2009
Words of Affirmation
She was precocious even when she was still in diapers. I'm quite certain her pediatrician (crazy Dr. Hess--don't get me started) must have written an article about her amazing little patient, who, at her one year checkup, could make over thirty different animal noises on command. Dog, cat, cow? Easy. How about fish and squirrel and elephant? She knew them all. And before long, little Lauren was speaking intelligible words and soon sentences. Heck, this creative kid even made up a few words of her own. Go ahead: look mastus up in the dictionary. You'll see it's the answer to every question that begins with the word why. And secubaba, that's in there too. Can't remember what it means by now, but I'm sure it was something amazing.
Her journey through elementary school was equally stellar, and I always enjoyed hearing her teachers laud her praises. But I must admit: I had a few niggling doubts. Did they speak highly of her because they knew her and they knew us (after all, Clint teaches at the same school)? Or was she really as exceptional as we believed her to be?
At home, we see her grace, her maturity, her humor, her love for language and music. But was she really that amazing at school too? And even if she had impressed her teachers at Trinity, where she was the child of a teacher, probably as comfortable with her place there as she is at home, how would she act in a new environment where nobody knew her? Yes, that's right: high school. A big city high school. (Well, is 1800 students big to you? It is to me...)
So last night I headed out to her parent-teacher conferences with Clint and (I won't lie) a bit of doubt in my heart. What would her teachers have to say about her? I'd seen some of her assignments, and they seemed good. She had said, though, that she felt shy, that teachers often didn't notice her in class.
But as we spent an hour meeting with one teacher after another, our fears were laid to rest. Okay, maybe just my fears. Clint doesn't really worry about these things. Each one said basically the same thing: We love having Lauren in class; she is bright and fun; she seems to love learning; she is so well prepared; she never misses an assignment; she's a great writer; she has wonderful insight into the discussion; we can always count on Lauren to have the right answer. And her grades? 3 A pluses, 1 A, one A minus.
Can you feel my pride? Is it transmitting over the digital waves to you? Five weeks ago, none of these people had a clue who my daughter was, and in those few short weeks, she has managed to find a place for herself in a brand new (at first, very frightening and overwhelming) environment. And not only has she found her place, she has made it comfortable enough that she has shown these five strangers who she truly is.
I wish I could take all the credit (well, half--shared with THE MAN), but I don't really think it's us. It's God. It's God who created this amazing treasure He gave us, who gifted us with a daughter who amazes us daily and who brings a glow of pride to my face every time I talk about her. I know I didn't do anything to deserve her. It's all grace, people, and it's a grace I am blessed to bask in.