“I‘m so proud of you.” Some parents are quick with the words. I don’t know how often I say it to my beans. It’s usually tied in to perseverance. When they don’t give up, when they get comfortable with uncomfortable. The past two weeks I’ve been proud of Abigail. She’s hit her stride, or she’s learning, or things are just snapping into place.
Last week in class her teacher nominated her to be “Bucket Filler of the Week,” a school honor that praises kindness. Abby’s class was working on math, each working with partners or in groups. Abigail noticed a girl was working alone, so she invited the classmate to join. “You don’t have to work alone,” she said. “Want to join us?” The girl did not. “That’s okay. If you change your mind, we’re here.”
I don’t love to write about the beans on this site because it’s ultimately their lives, and theirs to tell. It’s their privacy. And other moms read and then talk; it’s complicated. But now and again I share the smaller moments I want to remember, and this is one of them.
This week she was a superstar. Without saying too much, I’ll allow that she witnessed an incident of bullying on the bus and told the bully that his behavior wasn’t cool. She told an older child who’d been a close witness to the assault that, “You should know better! You’re in fifth grade. You need to be responsible, not just stand there and do nothing!” When I heard that my girl was an UPSTANDER and not a BYSTANDER, I wanted to throw a triumphant fist into the air and pump it. Not only was she an upstander, but she called out a bystander and told him that doing nothing wasn’t an option.
The next day other children corroborated the story, and the Principal made Abby Bucket Filler of the Week for the second week in a row. What’s beautiful is that she wasn’t doing any of it to seek praise. I love that.
Will she have less than flattering moments that disappoint? Of course. Don’t we all? But the good moments should be celebrated and remembered, so I’m including it here. Not just for me, but for you Abs. You should remember that this is who you are, the girl who stands up and speaks when she sees something wrong happening. When we were deciding what to name you, I campaigned to give you the middle name “Brave,” a quality that’s always been important to me. And look at you. You don’t need the name, but should you ever need the reminder… remember this.