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Monday, November 20, 2006

The Secret Lives of Children

One day, my child comes home from school, and to all appearances, it is a day like any other day. She cries for snacks, she fights with siblings, she trashes her corner of the house, she picks at dinner, and she eludes doing homework with a creativity that would make Tony Soprano blush.

On this particular day, I look through my child’s “take home” folder, and a stark white piece of paper catches my attention.

“Dear Parent…..”

Ah crap. My brain starts to tune out; please not another desperate plea for volunteers, or money.

“……Your child has been chosen as their class’ representative for the [Insert Name of School] Student Council.”

Well! This is a surprise! This sounds important! Lofty! Political! Where on earth did this come from!? My child said nothing to me on her bee-line to the Goldfish crackers upon our return home, but, darn it, she’s going places! THE STUDENT COUNCIL! Next, the Presidency! (Actually, I wouldn’t wish that on any child of mine; perhaps just a modest seat in the State Senate…..)

Yes, the child in question is my first grader, Sabrina. My second born, my enigmatic star/unicorn-catcher, chemist-in-training is on THE STUDENT COUNCIL. (Honest to God, you have to have known her since she was a toddler to understand the significance of this.)

What the hell!?

So, after signing the permission slip, passing it around to Sabrina’s father, and her paternal grandparents, I finally confronted Sabrina. We had just sat down to a decadent dinner of red king-crab purchased from New Sagaya for $9.98 per pound.

“So, Sabrina, I hear you’re going to be on…… THE STUDENT COUNCIL!”

Sabrina looked appropriately embarrassed and humble. “Yeah,” she admitted.

“That’s wonderful! I’m so proud!” I checked the faces of Sabrina’s siblings and grandparents for expressions of awe. Visions of a socially-responsible young person making-a-difference in her community ran through my head.

“Yeah,” blond-haired, blue-eyed, Meg-Ryan-as-a-six-year-old, grinned, “I just wish I remembered what it is.”

Cough. Hack. Clearing of throat.

“Well……” I didn’t bother explaining to Sabrina right then and there what THE STUDENT COUNCIL is, mostly because I have no clue either. I guess she’ll find out when she has her first 8am meeting on November 28th.. (And then, after school and a brief inquisition, so will I.)

What she was able to tell me was that she is the only person from her class that’s going to do it. She also had to be approved by her class and teacher.

And thus, why I am most proud: she didn’t follow anyone’s lead; she wasn’t a lemming; something struck her as being important to do, and even without fully understanding it, she is pursuing it anyway.

That makes me want to cry.

God bless the children! (And I don’t mean that as a shallow cliché.) May she eventually have some idea of what she is doing for the good of mankind!!!!

It is at moments like these that a parent is laid low; humbled; and overwhelmed with a joy that is almost irrational.

Stay tuned!


At 6:26 AM, Blogger Liz in Seattle said...

Hooray for Sabrina!!! But I think that most days anyway :-)

IKWYM about being blindsided. B just turned in a kick-tuchus report card, where his teacher looked him in the eyes and called him a wonderful kid whom the other kids look to for academic leadership. Who??? He got his long-coveted X-box game that night.

At 10:46 AM, Blogger kq1226 said...

How wonderful! I am sure her Uncle Doug will be happy to give her some pointers about being in politics! :) Tell her congrats for us!

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Sabrina! I think it's wonderful that you're going to be on the Student Council.

Love, Grandma Pat

At 3:08 PM, Blogger Gateway School and Learning Center said...

This made me laugh AND cry. Whattagirl.


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