There are four wonderful, incredibly brilliant, amazingly creative geniuses that live here at Thistlewood Farm.
Not that I’m partial or anything.
I’m just a mother.
And while I love each one of them with a love that fills up my heart and makes it overflow with absolute joy….
…there is one that truly tugs at my heartstrings.
She came into this world weighing only 2 pounds and 2 ounces with the sweetest cry I have ever heard.
She is my thinker.
An old soul.
Contemplative and quiet and watching the world with a solemn stare and a soft smile that holds such mystery and wonder.
She is the first one to give up her brownie and to help with homework and to make sure no one forgets their cheer leading shoes and that everyone has their lunches packed….
….and to laugh at every joke.
The other day I sat at an academic meet watching my little thinker compete.
They asked question after question about math and science and Kentucky and adverbs and adjectives.
And each time the reader would read the question….I could see her furrowed brow and the wheels spinning faster and faster in her head.
She would start to buzz in and answer…..but every time…..
…..something stopped her.
I could see the earnestness in her face and the longing in her eyes.
She simply wanted to participate.
She simply wanted to contribute.
And my heart ached and I spent the entire second half of the academic meet preparing my “every member of the team is important” speech.
And then……I saw her buzzer light up.
It was a math question….something almost incomprehensible to me about percentage and multiplying and then dividing.
And when they called her name….
…..I held my breath.
And then….with a quiet confidence she answered correctly.
The breath that I had been holding came out in a rush and I wanted to stand up and cheer and hold up the number 10 written on pieces of notebook paper and sing “We Are the Champions.’
But they frown on those sort of things at academic meets.
So I sat and cheered wildly on the inside….where it really counts.
After the meet was over and we walked to the car….she turned and looked up at me with a question in her eyes. I knew she was waiting for my normal-after-meet speech where I thouroughly analyze the questions and say all sorts of mom-of-the-year comments like “Make sure you remember that the capitol of North Dakota is Bismark” and “We need to practice a little more on the history of Kentucky.”
But this time I didn’t.
I did not say a thing.
We just walked silently across the parking lot….with the cold wind blowing and a hint of snow in the air.
And then I paused and said my variation of these six words that can shape a destiny….
…..”I love to watch you at the meet.”
She solemnly looked up at me and stared.
Those words came without pressure.
Just celebration and encouragement and understanding and acceptance from me.
She didn’t say anything.
She just reached up and tucked her tiny hand into mine.
And then suddenly…..I saw it….there it was……a smile of confidence that danced from one side of her face to the other and ended in the tiniest of dimples.
The smile of a champion. 🙂