I was so proud of my 11 year old daughter today that I popped two buttons on my shirt. Her school had their end of the year awards for 3rd-5th graders today. Awards (certificates of achievement or participation) were given out for perfect attendance, participation in after-school stuff like band and chorus, physical fitness, academic achievement, etc.
This year a new award was added. Out of the four 5th grade classes only one student is chosen for a special award by an organization called Community Connections for Youth. It's the "2008 Asset Builder of the Year Award: For choosing to have a positive impact on the lives around you." It went to my daughter, Sarah McCoy.
I'll be honest. Parenting an 11 year old girl isn't the easiest thing my wife and I do. She knows how to bring the drama into the simplest things in life. But Sarah is an exceptional girl. She has a heart for the ones everyone else makes fun of, talks down to, or ignores. She has a generous heart and spirit about her. And I'm so proud that as Sarah "graduates" to middle school the highest award she receives is an award that says she wasn't striving to be recognized with an award, but instead was concerned about others.
Year by year we collect all these certificates and file them away and pat our kids on the back and say "good job." We have great kids who make us very proud. But today, a few days before Father's Day, I am floating. Sarah, you have made your Father very proud!