This year has been off to a phenomenal start (you can read more about Allie's transition to first grade here). Allie has made a full social transition to girlhood and it suits her so very well. She has a gaggle of girl friends, plays her share of tag with the boys in her class, giggles often and is almost always smiling, singing, cartwheeling or dancing (or some combination of all four). But that doesn't mean we have been without our hiccups.
Take one day a couple of months ago, for example. In class, the kids were divided into groups. The child that was "leading" her group said "Let's choose a girl now," and Allie raised her hand, but was quickly corrected by the group leader who told Allie that she was 'really' a boy, didn't she remember?
While this little kiddo was certainly not trying to be hurtful (in fact, it is a child that Allie has a great rapport with), the comments stung Allie and she dissolved into tears. Now, no mama bear ever wants to think of their sweet baby crying in school, but keep reading and you'll see why EVERY mother would want her to child to have a teacher interaction like the one that Allie had.
The teacher took Allie to the side and got down at her level and said "Allie, do you know who you are?" and Allie nodded. Again, the teacher asked, "Do you know who you are?" and Allie nodded again. The teacher said, "Well, I know who you are, too. You are a very courageous young lady. Be who you are."
Her teacher told her "I know who you are". Is there anything more powerful than having someone tell you they know you? Is there anything more comforting than hearing someone say they know your heart and they get you? I can't think of many things that mean more than that. And to think that I am lucky enough to get to send my beloved little kiddos to a school where that's the message that they get, where a teacher does an amazing job of piecing back together my little girl's broken heart....well, it just doesn't get better than that.
Except that it does.
The other day, Allie had to write about her dream for making the world a better place. She wrote that she wanted to make the world a better place by "making sure that people be who they are".
That's something I preach day in and day out to my kids…be who you are, be who you are, be who you are…and who knew that they were getting it!? They are getting it and they're living it and they are being who they are. And that's amazing.
And want to know what else is amazing? I think the world is starting to get it, too. Maybe this is a little narcissistic, or self-aggrandizing, but I tell Allie all the time that she is changing the world. And I believe it (and so does she, by the way)…and the proof of that change is evident in her life every single day. There's proof in the birthday party invitations that come in the mail from her classmates. There's proof when parents send their kids to our house to play. There's proof in the moments when a teacher gets down on their knee to tell his student how courageous she is. There's proof in Allie's notebook where her teacher wrote "Well said, my sweet, sweet girl".
There's proof in her smile. In the way she holds her head up high when she walks. There's proof when I watch her sweet brother playing basketball in the driveway with Allie and letting her win.
Life for Allie, for her brother, for all four of us is so sweet and so good right now. And so I am going to keep on being who I am, and will keep on encouraging my kids to be who they are, and they will keep trying to change the world, one classmate, one parent, one teacher, one person at a time.