June 08, 2010

my (not-so) average kids

The best of the best deserve to be celebrated. And the kids who started at the bottom and work so hard to excel... they deserve to be celebrated, too. But where does that leave the average student? Uncelebrated. And sometimes... it hurts.
So many years ago, I realized that my kids were not the straight A kids... and it was hard, but I had to lower my expectations... just a bit. And as long as they tried as hard as they could and gave the most effort they were capable of, then I celebrated the B's. I didn't love the C's, but I recognize that C is average... and if average is all you got, well then, what can I say?  I'm not saying that I didn't press upon them to give a little more... but sometimes I had to realize that you can earn a C, even if you gave it an A effort.  And always... when the grades were not those fancy A and B letters that I dreamed of, I would glance over to the side of the report card and see that they have earned the highest marks possible for things like respect, effort, and character. 
The school system may deem my kids average, but in this great big world we live in, they are anything but.  Her heart... is not average.  It is big and compassionate and more beautiful than I ever dreamed a heart could be.  She gives of herself and serves our very big God.  The courage she possesses is certainly above average to me.    And his personality... is not average.  It is bright, infectious, humble and kind... and just when you think he's given all he can, he pushes himself just a little bit more, because he loves to learn.   He is the kid... who started out average and worked so hard... to be average.   
I was surprised when we got a letter from the school, inviting us to the awards ceremony.  We figured that he had pushed himself so far that he had earned whatever magic-number-of-a-grade-point-average you needed to get an award.  But we were wrong (I'm sure it is really close though!)  Camden received... the 5 Star Science award for 7th grade.  I don't know what it all means... I wasn't totally listening, it caught me by surprise, but it had to do with his science grades and his character (I think) and four were awarded at his grade level.  Yay for my (not-so) average kid! 

These two... they inspire me.  They encourage me to find out stuff I never cared to know about.  They show me that the nice guy can prevail, and they remind me that success is not about being above average... it is about being happy right where you are. 

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16 comments:

togetherforgood said...

Aw, good for him! How exciting! Your children are above average in the things that matter, and I have no doubt it is because their mother is so very, very above average in matters of the heart as well. :)

Corinne said...

Dawn, I need you in my life. Your accepting nature, your love for your family, it's got me in tears. I love that you see your kids as so much more than their grades and gpa's. So many could learn a thing or two from you!

Anonymous said...

Dawn was a beautiful testimony of unconditional love. Your comments move me to tears. Just how God loves them you love them too. And they are so much more than grades or honors. All of " the average kids"
a mom of averages too Pam
m

Kelli said...

You guys are awesome!!Excelling in areas of courage and character mean more than any grade they'll ever receive!!!

Jen said...

A+ post! :D

JoAnn said...

being happy where you are is SOOOO HARD!
Thank you for the encouragement.

Kimberley said...

Dawn, that was so beautifully said - and so true.
I wish that I could bottle you up and take a little dose of you every day!

tracie @ {tsj} photography said...

dawn ... i'm so far behind and what a lovely post to come to as i play catch up!

i have this same feeling toward my kids and "grade" ... for me, it's more about the effort grade, than the final grade. they need to know we support WHO they are. and not by anybody's standards but God's and their own ... you know?

anyway ...

i love seeing the photos and hearing about your recent trip ...

and also your gift of contentment ... i need a chunk of that in my life right now! ;)

blessings to you today!

Kay said...

Congrats! That is really cool. I agree on the A/B and even C thing. We cheer on like crazy and have come away with A and B's so far. Whew. LOL Instead of average, we call our girl NORMAL. She is a normal student and she excels at that. : )

Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh gosh...I could read this over and over and never with a dry eye.
Your kids are wonderful, you know it, I know it..but it is so great when OTHERS recognize this as well.
I am so happy for his award, I know he will remember that day for a long time.
You have such a great way of seeing the best in everyone, and especially in your special ABOVE average kids.
xoxoxo
Suz

Dayle Allen Shockley said...

It feels wonderful when our children excel! Good for them. Good for you.

jenn said...

I know you are one proud mommma of two great kids! I have a feeling they get their greatness from two people who are pretty special too! ;)

Cynthia@RunningWithLetters said...

I am so glad your son had the experience of being publicly recognized. We all need that sometimes!

imoomie said...

What a beautiful, inspiring tribute to your children and to the things that truly matter like faith and character.

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

I popped over here from your link on Boy Crazy's site and I just wanted to say that's really great he got an award and some well-deserved recognition. But I also want to give you some hope that grades are not the end-all, be-all in this world (as much as the school system and society try to make it so) - and this is coming from someone who is two months away from filing her doctoral dissertation and has taught undergraduates at university for 5 years.

I have a lot of reasons for saying this, but this would become a really long comment, plus I think this video says it better: http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

It's a speech given at a conference for educators and it's truly brilliant what he says. His speech is about 18 minutes long and it's quite entertaining. And if what he says speaks to you, I urge you to try his book "The Element". I think there may be a very strong reason the way school operates just does not suit the way your children learn and it may help to think of alternative ways to help them learn and tap into what their strengths truly are.

Best of luck to you and your family.

Elizabeth @claritychaos said...

You knew I would love this. You were right. :) I love this whole thing, but especially that last paragraph. My husband's boss always says "My kids aren't just good kids. They're good people." And I think that's what you're saying here, too.

So glad to read this, Dawn.