Two words for two stories: humble and determined. I got to experience these traits over Christmas break while Grace and Jason were at home. Here are the stories:
1. Humble - On the first day of soccer tryouts, I went to pick Jason up and counted at least 35 boys trying out for the team (this is a lot for Atascadero). Now, this is Jason's second year playing, and he had a great season last year, and he knows both coaches well, and they know him. But alas, since my hobby seems to be conjuring up things to worry about in the wee hours when other, normal people are asleep, I found myself worrying about tryouts. What if he doesn't make it? What if he quits all sports because he is so discouraged? What if he then hates school and starts hanging out with kids who ditch class and ends up becoming a stoner? There's no end to the thoughts I can come up with! So, on Thursday, on the way home, we had the following conversation:
Me - "So how are tryouts going?"
Jason - "Fine" (the universal teen boy answer for every mom question)
Me - "There were a lot of boys at tryouts the first night!"
Jason - "Yep"
Me - "When do you think you'll find out if you made the team?"
Jason - "Oh, I know I'll make it; Coach told me the first day that I'm going to be one of the captains."
I so admire that boy's humility. If I was trying out for a team in high school and was told that, I would have plastered it all over Facebook and would have purchased a T-shirt for myself with the word "Captain" all over it. And probably a hat to match. And would have told everyone to call me "Captain G" from that day on. Needless to say, I slept very well that night. And we are enjoying another season of soccer games. They are so much fun. Colder this year, but still fun.
2. Determined - While Jamey and I were in El Salvador, Grace got a paper back that she had written for a psychology class. It was a survey class and was taught by different professors, so one teacher had given the assignment, and another had graded the papers, and it seems that they had different ideas of how they wanted the students' sources to be cited. So Grace was marked down on her paper, even though she had actually cited it correctly according to Professor #1. This is unfortunate, but it happens. And when she approached Professor #2 about it (that takes guts!) to explain what happened, she was told that her grade wouldn't be changed, even though the mix-up wasn't her fault (?!). Now at this point, if this was me, I would have considered dropping out of school, or would have written perhaps a mean yet anonymous letter to the editor of the paper. I for sure would have curled up in a ball and cried for a few days. And I someone should have warned this professor, "Don't mess with her." Grace's grade in the class was now an A- (yes, an A-minus. I'm sorry, but that is to this point in her life as low as it goes. I have been telling her for years that when she gets her first B, I will make her a cake and take her out for dinner, but it hasn't happened yet). She could have, at this point, taken an A- (a perfectly respectable grade!), but I think she was probably still mad at the injustice of it all. So she studied and studied and studied for the final.....and got 100%. On the final exam. And got a very, very well-deserved A in the class. Take that, Professor #2. I love that girl's determination - and that she uses her powers for good. If she ever turns to a life of crime, we are all in trouble.
I sit at my favorite coffee place (see the photo of my chai latte? How can you not love a place that makes lovely stuff like this?) and think of how amazing it is that out of all of the kids in history, I happened to get the best ones!!! Crazy.