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Monday, May 10, 2010

Little Girl No More


I look at my baby girl, Sarah, and wonder where all the years have gone.  She is so grown up.  Responsible.  Hard working.  Very funny with an addictive laugh.  Witty.  Smart.  Beautiful.  Compassionate.  A bit stubborn at times.  But overall, the best daughter a mother could ever hope to have.  



We don't pick our children, God does.  He gives us our children, places them in our care, and entrusts us to raise them well, and to love, respect, and honor Him.  Our children - there is no greater gift in this world. 



Little girls are different from little boys.  Having had 3 daughters and 1 son, I know just how different they can be, however, I am a bit apprehensive to assume I know anything about raising a teenage boy going through puberty.  My son, Matthew, is just entering this stage and I am feeling a bit out of my element at times.  But, with Sarah, I have a better idea what to expect, not only from her 2 older sisters having troubled their way through their teenage years, but also from my own personal experience of having been a difficult teenage girl.



Sarah is everything I wish I had been when I was her age, and more. I have had many heart-to-heart talks with her about my own mistakes and growing up, and surprisingly she listens and learns.  Yes, she is only 16 and there are still many tough years ahead of her, but overall, I trust that she has a handle on her life, her goals, and her emotions at this time.  She is grounded - believe it or not.



Can you tell how proud I am of Sarah?  She knows that her grades and everything she does is a reflection of her character and work ethic.  She knows that her high school career and grades will be the foundation for the rest of her academic life and career choice.  We've drilled this into her psych.



Together, Big Bear and I have told her that her high school education is her "job" and her grades are her "paycheck."  We've told her this:

Every "A" on your report card is worth $10,000 in the bank.

Every "B" on your report card is worth $5,000 in the bank.

Every "C" on your report card is worth nothing.

Every "D" on your report card and you have to give back $10,000.

Get an "F" and you start over and lose it all.



In other words, if she were to keep a checkbook register of every grading period report card, every year, and were to calculate each grade as a deposit or deduction, it would probably round out to be about how much she qualifies for in scholarship funds from a college or university.  So, if Sarah wants to go to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or Duke, or University of Maryland (which are on her radar at the moment), she needs to understand how much it costs annually to attend these universities and what they expect of her "now" in her high school years to put her on their radar for a potential scholarship.


Yes, I am proud of Sarah.  She has gone from homeschooling to high school seamlessly.  I can't believe she will be starting 11th grade in just a few months.  Where has the time gone?


Well, just last week, Sarah got her hair cut.  I know, so what, right?  Well, let me tell ya, I sat outside in the truck while she got her hair done because I knew she wanted it shorter and more stylish than the long main of hair she grew up with.  But, she wanted this done and I thought it would be easier for her to care for too.  Her dad was in the salon with her.  An hour later (Tom, our stylist, takes his time) Sarah walks out of the salon and I took a double-take.


I started to cry.  She walked in a little girl and walked out looking like a young woman.  My heart was in my hands.  She was smiling from ear-to-ear and looked so beautiful.  I couldn't take my eyes off of her.


Well, just this past Friday, Sarah and I went to Charlotte's Joseph-Beth Booksellers to see Ree Drummond (Story tomorrow) - you all know her - The Pioneer Woman.  When we finally had an opportunity to talk to her, she said to Sarah "My goodness, you are so grown up!  I can't believe how grown up you are from the pictures I have seen of you!"  I said "Ree, I think it's the haircut" and Ree looked at Sarah and gave her a big smile and a hug.  Sarah was so happy that she finally met Ree, and will never forget what Ree said to her.  It was a special time for mother and daughter that day.


Still, my little girl has really grown up this past year - don't you think?


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