Monday, April 7, 2014

T Double-E Double-R Double-R Double-I Double-F Double-I Double-CCCC

This being our first go-round with elementary school, we had no idea what to expect with regards to accolades that can be earned. I mean, they don't even get grades until they get to third grade so it's all check marks and smiley faces up in here. There's field day with races and Lego club that you can only get into if you can move two matchsticks to make 10 squares but other than that? Nada. Though let's be real: to solve the problem you need to use matchsticks and aren't we supposed to be telling the kids NOT to play with matches? Y U undermine us, Lego club? Anyway, we monitor Noelle's homework and classwork, adding explanations or corrections where necessary la la la, content in our own little world of first grade.

Until one day a couple of weeks ago where a sealed envelope came home in her folder addressed to the 'Parents of Noelle Lange'. Immediately my heart sank as letters home mean TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD THINGS. Then I checked my phone log to see if I had missed a call from the school (I hadn't) and grilled cheezus, what fresh hell was this? It was...good. Great even. She had been selected as the Terrific Kid of the month by her class and teacher for demonstrating the value of Perseverance. Overreaction FTMFW! 

The letter went on to explain that this is a pretty darn prestigious thing for the school (here's where I confess that I must have dozed off during this portion of the back to school night presentation because I had never heard of this program before) and that she would be honored in an awards ceremony with the other Terrific Kids of the month where they would make a short speech about the value of the month for which they were selected and receive a highly coveted bumper sticker, certificate and coupon for a free ice cream treat from the cafeteria! (Guess which one got the biggest response?) Proud doesn't even begin to describe what I felt; she has always been a reserved child and if something didn't work the right way the first time, she would get extremely frustrated and walk away, even quit. For her classmates to see her work hard and continue to try, even when it didn't come easy, well, that was the best reinforcement she could have ever received.


This is about the furthest thing from what we've seen from her. This is not Noelle and yet it is. So much confidence and self-assurance at school, less so at home. And so we wrote her speech, discussing what she wanted to say and finally her dictating and me writing.

She was the second speaker and she nailed it. (You might have to turn up the speakers to really hear her.)

No matter what Noelle, you're always a terrific kid in our eyes. (And now you have the bumper sticker to prove it.)

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