Tag Archives: Blessing

Growing My Girls for the Will to Win

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I can’t imagine being 7 years old and having to make sense of peers being invited to something that she wasn’t. A “something’ that implies, “You’re smart,” or “There’s something special about you.”

She stuffed her feelings. Didn’t say anything about it. Just kept smiling as if everything was okay.

Then, a prime opportunity to reclaim self-esteem and feel smart again. The science bee. The history bee.

Representing her class among her peers with the winners from the four other classrooms. What a sense of accomplishment it would be if she won the grade-level bees? How super proud would her parents be of her?

It was a temptation far to relevant. And she lied. To feel smart. To feel special. To have her parents express their excited praise!

So, she said she won.

Did you see that? The trap. The belief that to restore this feeling of self-worth, a lie was necessary. I don’t blame her. How often do we do it too?

But when the truth is laid open, it humbles. And it restores.

She has strong interests in technology, science, social studies, media, and how things work (a.k.a., engineering). She has a teacher’s spirit and enjoys instructing others, making her a natural leader among her peers. She excels in language arts and tackles math like it’s a fun game. She loves people and cultures and exploring the differences among us.

Then, the 9 year old big sister weighs in. Tells her she is smart. She is special. She doesn’t need to lie to feel good about herself. And that just because you didn’t get something like your friends, you are still a great sister. One who loves. One who helps. One who teaches. All you have to do is think about all the good things, and winning isn’t everything.

I’d never ever seen this kind of maturity and wisdom in big sister before. It was beautiful. It was inspiring. It was tear-inducing. Sheer pride at her ability to communicate so clearly what she thought about her little sister lying. Just to feel smart and special.

No, winning isn’t everything. But the will to win is. Growing my girls with the will to win is a daily priority.  Most days it gets messy and complicated. But then there are those moments in life when their self-worth and esteem shine bright because they understand the will to go after what they’re good at.

Doing your best sometimes misses the mark or gets overlooked. Yet, refocusing on the will to win is what’s most important. I am thankful for these lessons learned and perspective changed with my girls this week.

We Are the 10.9% — A Kids Perspective

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I asked each kid to reflect on the week and share their insights about a week+ without power.

Elise, age 5

“We had to go to someone else’s house because we didn’t have power. But that first night, we had fun playing in the shadows. It’s been fun to be at Taylor’s house, and one day we’ll get to go swim in the pool. I feel happy because we go to stay at Mrs. Robin’s house.”

Joel, age 6

“Ate at cookout. At Robin’s house. I miss my drawing pad. Play with flashlights. The lights and power are broke. Paint (at) Amazement Square. Paint on my face. Pizza, french fries, ice cream.”

Jasmine, age 7

“The storm, rain, lightening and the power not working. I sleep with Lisey (Elise), Quentin, Mommy, Daddy, and Joel. I see Grayson the baby. I like being at Mrs. Robin’s and we go swim in the pool. I don’t know.”

Quentin, age 9

“It was horrible and stormy and my window blew open. It was scary and now I’m bored. I slept and fell off the bed, twice. We played outside. I want to thank Dan and Robin for giving us a place to stay because if we didn’t and stayed at home, it’d be horrible and Daddy would be angry. We got to eat out a lot – Catalano’s, Cookout, Liberty Dining Hall, Domino’s Pizza, Bojangle’s, and Hibachi (for 4th of July). Not very healthy food but we couldn’t cook.”

It’s remarkable to me that when asked about their thoughts on the week, they choose to see such different sides of what happened…some things happy, some things scary. Kids are resilient and this too shall pass. I’ve heard it said that times like this make you appreciate what you have. It does, but it also emphasizes that family is only as strong as the situations and adventures you face together.

I’ve been inspired and encouraged daily by my kiddos and am more in love with Todd than ever before. We’ve made this week as much fun as we could have been and met phenomenal people in the same place along the way. I am forever indebted to Dan, Robin, Kylie, Taylor, and Grayson Finley for opening their home to the six of us. At last check, 10.9% of the City is still without power. We are truly blessed.Image