Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two 'Daughters of the Month'

There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ family. There are however moments in the life of a family when things happen which make you realize how blessed you are to be a member in something larger than yourself. It’s humbling and exciting at the same time.

My husband and I have always been very proud of our daughters. They are both smart and talented, but more importantly, they have always been good kids—again not ‘perfect’ but dependable, honest, hard-working and nice girls.

We’ve been proud of their accomplishments, such as good grades, piano recitals, Tae Kwon Do belts and various sundry awards, but we’ve been even more impressed by those things they do which never gain them any recognition. For example, Bear can never forget how proud he was of Michelle in a race where she came in dead last—but she never quit running. And for me, one of Meg’s finest moments was when she kept going back to break a board time after time after time even though her hand was hurting, her knuckles were bruised and tears of frustration were streaming down her cheeks. Eventually the instructor–a black belt—discovered the wood was too hard even for him to break and he gave her a lighter piece of wood. She broke it, sore hand and all.

However, even these poignant memories pale when I think about the girls’ relationship, how they get along, continue to stick up for each other, love, and even like each other—most of the time anyway. So many siblings grow up with an intense dislike of one another; they fight constantly. Meg and Michelle have been best friends for most of their lives ... and still are.

Tonight was a good example. My younger daughter, Michelle, came in bringing the October issue of their high school newspaper, Titan Talk. “Here,” she said. “Meg is on the front page,” she showed me where her sister was pictured with her escort as the Cross Country Princess in the Carl Albert Homecoming Court. “And here she is again, ‘Female Athlete of the Month’. I figured I’d better tell you and get you a copy of the paper because Meg would never tell you. I’ll pick up some more copies for you tomorrow so you can send them to people. I can get them at the Library.”

Now I ask you, is that a generous sister or is that a generous sister? I didn’t know who I was more proud of at that moment: Meg for her athletic accomplishment or Michelle for her thoughtfulness. Truthfully, I was unspeakably proud of both girls—proud and humbled at the same time.

In September, Meg became a National Merit Semi-finalist and was recognized as an AP (Advanced Placement) Scholar with Honor, which means she received at least 3.25 on all AP exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on four or more of these exams. In fact, she got 5’s on three out of the four AP tests she has taken so far: AP European History—5; AP U.S. History (Independent Study)—5; AP English III—5; AP Chemistry—3. She is taking five more AP courses this year.

Besides her academics, Meg has won five medals in Cross Country so far this year and just placed, along with the entire Carl Albert girl’s team, to run at State this coming week-end.

As I write this, Meg is practicing her piano. Michelle just returned home. After she said hello to me, her first words were to her sister, “Did you know you were ‘Athlete of the Month’?”

Thank you God for letting me know, love and play a role in the lives of these wonderful young women. It is an honor and a privilege to be their mother. Please dear Lord continue to watch over and protect them.

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