Friday, April 22, 2011

Crowning Moments! Building Character

My little Ms. Smarty Pants
My original thought for my "Crowning Moments!" post was to hopefully get a little deeper than just reporting on family accomplishments.  While that may technically fit into this category, and I have previously used scrapbook page moments for my blog, I experienced what I think of as a true "crowning moment" with my daughter.  Although there were tears, true character was tested and refined, both mine and hers.

The fifth grade puts on a very involved program at the end of the school year entitled "Smarter Than a 5th Grader."  This program highlights moments in history from the time of Christopher Colombus, onto the slave trade, through the invention of the telephone and Model T car, the sailing of the Titanic, the immigration of people from all countries into the welcoming view of the Statue of Liberty, and caps it all off with a rousing rendition of "God Bless the USA." 

Shaylie was assigned a number of parts, and while I could base my "Crowning Moments" blog on the fact that she memorized quite a number of lines, recorder music, songs, and dances, which would be noteworthy by themselves, I couldn't help but focusing on an incident that happened just a few nights ago.

Shaylie has been very excited, to say the least, about one role in particular, that of Ms. Smarty Pants.  My beautiful daughter covered up those big baby blues with coke-bottle nerd glasses, pulled her socks up over her knees almost reaching the cut-off levis that were higher on one side than the other, stuck a calculator and pens in the pocket of her snapped-up-to-her-neck tucked in shirt and completed the part with a lisp like no other.  It was a remarkable performance.

Shaylie was originally supposed to play this role once with another girl performing it twice, but because she went all out for the part, the 5th grade teachers chose Shaylie to perform this particular part at two of the  three shows.  The night before the first performance, the other little girl's mother sent a not-so-nice email to the teachers criticizing them for their actions.  That's when I received a call from the teacher, very upset at this point, as to what she was to do.

Putting her faith in Shaylie's character, she asked my wonderful daughter to give up this pretigious part of Ms. Smarty Pants to the other little girl.  After working so hard to memorize and perfect her act, Shaylie was very disappointed.  She did, however, after a few tears, put on a brave face, conceded that she did have another good part, and graciously gave up her spot.

As a mother, a small part of my heart broke with Shaylie's and my tears, held in until I was alone, silently fell along with hers.  But, I was so proud that my daughter's teacher had enough faith in that little girl's character, that she would ask her to do that; proud that my daughter, although disappointed, put her heart into her other parts and held little animosity toward the other girl and her mother.

At one of the assemblies for the school, Shaylie was able to play Ms. Smarty Pants, and Richard, Grandma Daybell, her brothers and sisters, and I were able to witness her genius performance.  I inwardly cheered, not only for her perfect execution of her lines, but for the whole experience.

Throughout life, our children will face moments that test the principles that make them individuals.  These experiences will hopefully make them stronger people by increasing their moral, intellectual, and emotional qualities.  As parents, that is hard to see your kids have to go through those trying times, but it so necessary for them to develop that kind of strength now in order to make it successfully and happily through life, later.

I am so proud of you, Shaylie, for the way you handled yourself in this situation.  I am happy to know that whatever comes your way, you will deal with it bravely and with integrity; that discouragement will not get the best of you when you are put to the test: a "crowning moment" for both of us.


  1. That was a great story. Why can't some parents just stay the **** out of stuff and let teachers do their job? My only problem is the "nerdy outfit?" Why is that nerdy, That was my attire everyday?

    joeh-the Cranky old man

  2. Go Shaylie. She certainly gave that other mother a lesson in how to act dignified, civilised and grown-up!


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