The 2nd Grade Chronicles: Volume R, Issue 1

First Grade was a rough year for you, Ruby. When I think of all that you experienced and weathered between your first and last day of first grade, I'm so thankful for the resiliance and persistance you've learned. I'm also sorry for the hurt and uncertainty that you've experienced at times. For the rest of your life, I'll probably be analyzing your behavior and weighing the decisions your dad and I made for you in these early years. I suppose that's the curse of being a mother, eh?

But yesterday you came out of school and plopped a big huge weight down on the side of the scale labeled, "Benefits."

"There's something in my bag I think you'll like!" you quipped before skipping off to the monkey bars.

So I opened your bag and pulled out the papers. One set was rolled like a scroll, and I knew, instinctively, that this was the set you wanted me to see.

Last year, recess was the hardest part of moving to a new city for you. Entering a new school half-way through the year was a challenge that I would have failed miserably at your age. The students had already formed groups and cliques, and the mob bosses had already been determined. Those twenty minutes in the middle of the day out on the playground were often the worst twenty minutes of your entire day. On the most heart-wrenching afternoons, the tears began to leak out of your eyes from the minute you stepped out of your classroom and saw me, your safe place.

I prayed for you, Roo. Oh, my goodness, I prayed. And I worried for you. I worried that you would either fade away into a meek shadow with no personality, like the mob bosses preferred, or that you would observe their ways and become a mob boss of your own. So I prayed: I prayed that your compassionate heart would be protected and preserved, that you'd learn empathy and sympathy, and that you'd have an opportunity to be be Jesus on the playground. I literally prayed that phrase, Ruby. 

Yesterday, I saw the beginning of the answer to those prayers.

Faced with a similar situation this year, recess "clubs" forming faster than you could say, "Clique!", you told me you had a plan: You were going to create a group for the kids who were being left out. "It won't be a club, because that feels like something that you have to join or can't leave. I just want friends to be able to come and go...just have a place to play, if they want to." Your words to me, just a couple of weeks ago.

And this certificate from your friends is the result.

Sometimes, I really wonder who's raising who in this family, kid. I learn the most wonderful lessons from you.

Thank you for being my girl. 

Honored to be yours,