On Friday, a week ago, my oldest daughter’s teacher stopped me after school to share a moment my daughter had at school.
I’m already welling up with tears as I’m typing this, and I’ve barely just begun.
That morning they had their spelling test.
My daughter has an impeccable memory. She’s like her dad that way. They learn something once, and bam, it’s there. Stored for instant recall. It’s a gift.
She always scores 100% on all her tests. It’s who she is. She came that way, and I am just there to wonder what it would be like to be her.
That day they did their test, and at one point, after my daughter had written down one of the words, she noticed that her folder which had the list of all the words was peeking out, and the word she’d just written was also visible.
She immediately told her teacher.
Her teacher knew my daughter didn’t look at the word to spell it correctly on the test, because she knows my daughter well. So the teacher did something, brilliant. She asked my daughter what they should do. The teacher made it clear that she would go with whatever decision my daughter made. They could either count the word, as the teacher told my daughter, she knew she didn’t cheat, or whatever decision my daughter preferred.
Any choice would have been fine.
The outcomes would all be good. Perhaps, there might be one outcome that was better.
In that moment, my daughter chose to forego a point, because she didn’t want it to appear like she had cheated. She asked her teacher to not count the word, and that was that.
No big deal. My daughter thought nothing of it.
She had no idea how big, that small moment was.
Her teacher told me how proud she was of my daughter, and what a true, honest character she is. Her teacher tried to give me credit for this behavior, but I would have none of it. None. This is who my daughter is. She has always been honest with us. She feels badly if ever anything she does might be incorrect, or hurt another’s feelings. She is sensitive, and empathetic, and gentle. She’s also a lot of crazy, fun.
I am so proud of her. I’m so proud that at such a young age she’s already got it. In a time when so many adults would prefer to hide anonymously their dishonesty, and shady dealings, my 8, almost 9 year old has wisdom far beyond her years, and I’m just grateful to watch her continue to grow stronger in character as the years slip by.
Honesty, loyalty, truth are all values I hold near and dear to me. It thrills me to know that these aren’t lost in our youth. Character. It still means something.