On Friday at Meet the Teacher, Snapper's teacher sent home a questionnaire, requesting information about each child in her class. The questions were typical, and were easy to answer. There was, however, one question that was more out of the ordinary.
What makes you proud of your child?
That made me think. What does Snapper do that makes me proud? She has many accomplishments that make me proud. I am proud of her excellent swimming. I am proud of the awards she has won. I am proud of the great memory she has. I am proud of her cuteness. I am proud of the obstacles she has overcome with her poor eyesight and her ADD. I am proud of the sweet relationship she has with her brother. I am proud that when she would walk through the halls of her old school, she was always greeted by children of all ages. But none of those were things I wanted to put down on the form. It got me thinking: what about Snapper am I the most proud of? It didn't take me long to come to my answer.
Snapper has a tremendously compassionate heart. Ever since she was very tiny, she has been drawn to people who have special needs. Whether it means holding the door for an elderly person, befriending a child with a disability, or standing up for the underdog, Snapper reaches out to people in need. At the end of 3rd grade, she even stood up (against two 5th grade boys) for a girl who had relentlessly bullied her all year. Snapper doesn't care what others think of her; she will stand up for what is right, even when it means going against the flow. She joyfully and willingly serves people with special needs. That is what I am most proud of.
At pick-up each day, Snapper goes from her classroom to the K-1st grade car line, where she waits for me with Pepper. When I arrived to pick up the kids today, I was surprised to see Snapper's teacher waiting for me. She came to the car and told me that Snapper had walked into the classroom for the first time this morning, and headed straight over to the little girl in a wheelchair. She immediately formed a friendship with this child, and spent the whole day assisting her. Because the chairs in the cafeteria are permanently attached to the tables, the wheelchair does not easily fit at lunch time. The little girl in the wheelchair asked if Snapper can join her at a separate table for lunch each day. The teacher requested permission, which the principal immediately granted. For the duration of the time this little girl will spend in the wheelchair (a few months), Snapper will be her lunch buddy and classroom aide.
What makes me proud? I am proud that on Snapper's first day in a new school, she reached outside of herself to serve a child who had a need, a child that the other kids overlooked. I wish I could take this particular moment and display it in a trophy case, because it means more than 1000 Awana trophies and swim medals.