Monday, June 05, 2006


In Honor of a Perfect Daughter



I picked Julia up after school today, as usual. I always park along the back side of the school and stand outside my car and wait. She comes out the double doors, disheveled pig-tails, sweater loosely tied around her thin waist, and is always sure to spot me before making the long walk across the blacktop and through the grass field. When we see one another from opposite ends of the playground, we wave big arm waves.

Trotting clumsily, sweaty and tired, she approaches me and passes off her heavy backpack almost before I can even reach it. I gladly take it from her and toss it in the front seat while she climbs into the back of our van. Today she kept the bag herself and commented, "I want to hold it today. I have something to show you." And after we're buckled in and I start the car, she hands me a large, fancy folder trimmed with gold guilding from the back seat. "Look," she said. I open it and read, "Third Grade Student of the Year" and in calligraphy, "Julia Clark". My heart leapt, and I gasped, "Julia Clark! Oh my gosh! WOW! I can't believe it. What an honor." She beamed, wearing her big, toothy 8-year-old grin, skin flushed pink with excitement and humbled confidence, "I know. Isn't it great?"

Great doesn't begin to describe it. And although I blurted out I couldn't believe it, the truth is I can. I most certainly can believe that my child was chosen to be celebrated. She is an incredibly bright, kind, thoughtful, creative, talented, hard-working, generous, determined, responsible, sincere, smart, gifted, amazing, and beautiful young girl. I am beyond proud of everything she is and all that she is becoming. I know that all of this is true because I am her mother. What delights me more is that today she was recognized by the world. Her world. I am overjoyed that she was given a moment to hear her name be read out loud in front of all of her friends and had an opportunity to feel so incredibly special without me. I am overwhelmed and so grateful. As a mother, nothing could be better.

Julia Clark is my daughter and today and always, I honor her.

21 comments:

misha said...

I cried.

H.A.Page said...

I always spend a lot of breath when my children when they get accolades acknowleding how hard they worked for the award, or how I could see it meant a lot to them, or how I noticed it had been a goal, or whatever, so that they own the effort and realize that the award is less important than the work and striving. Therefore, when awards aren't won, they still have self-confidence in their effort and don't feel they let anyone down but themselves... Still, my oldest is the competitive one. It has a lot to do with birth order. Probably more than anything I do or say.
I think anything that is earned that will serve your daughter well in life - such as this award -- is worthy of a lot of praise.
Cheers.

Stacy said...

Awwww. There's nothing like the love you have for your children and the pride you have for them.

Before parenthood, could you ever imagine how it would be?

PeetsMom said...

Yay Julia! Yahoo! Man, I can feel you BEAMING from here Trace!

Tell her Congratulations from us ok?!!

xo
k

la vie en rose said...

yeah julia!!!!! i celebrate too!!! and you know all those wonderful qualities and characteristics she had to learn somewhere--like from her mother!

Catizhere said...

Whoo Hoo!!!! Way to go Julia!!!

At just about 3, going in the potty is a big, proud moment for Maggie.
Sleeping in her OWN bed all night is a big deal.
Jumping off the starting block at Mommy & Me swim class gets an award that will be framed & hung in her room.

Celebrate every accomplishment big or small.

Sounds like someone will get an extra hug tonight before bed.

Waya said...

Wow! She has someone to thank for being who she is...YOU!

Congrats to you for a job well done, Mom!

I have to say that I look forward to all those proud moments from my 3 children, and that is every single day that I am in their presence. I wrote about one tiny proud moment in my life, nothing compares to your daughter's accomplishment...yet. If you care to read about it, click on the link below.

http://www.beforebaby.com/waya/2006/04/24/mommys-proudest-moment/

Mom101 said...

You honor each other.

It's so nice to see girls who are proud of their accomplishments and not hiding them in order to let the boys have the spotlight. You done good Tracy! Congrats to Julia.

Left-handed Trees... said...

Congratulations to your precious little girl! I can tell just from her picture that she has an amazing amount of energy and kindness. How powerful for her, too, to be recognized as you put it, "by her world" without "Mom". It means something completely different, to be sure. I have celebrated my (also third grade) daughter's poetry and photography forever--but, it wasn't until she won awards at school that she really felt it. What a beautiful thing! I am so glad you "found" me via mama says om--I will be back to read your words and view your (incredible!) images again. Thanks so much...

Suebob said...

Yay Julia. It is a good accomplishment and it is great for you to acknowledge it and let her know you are proud of her.

One thing I have noticed as a non-Jew who spends a lot of time with Jewish people - they praise their kids to the high heavens. Parents have high expectations, but the kids' every achievement is met with excitement and honor.

Then I look around and see, for the tiny population of Jews on earth, how disproportionately represented they are in the highest echelons of almost every endeavor - the arts, music, medicine, science, philanthropy, business...it goes on and on. I am not imagining this, am I?

I can't help but think that the two things are related.

mothergoosemouse said...

That is wonderful. And I'm touched by how proud you are. These are the moments I look forward to as my girls grow up too.

Claddyjack said...

How fantastic!!! Will you give her a big hug from her Aunt Nancy and tell her how proud I am of her and Congratulations. She IS a gem, Trace, a true sweetheart of a person. And you put it so well, how special it is that she is recognized by her world.

Claddyjack said...
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Jenny said...

That is awesome! Congratulations. Isn't it nice to have someone other than your family recognize your child's greatness?

mama without instructions said...

very sweet. so nice that she is recognized for all the wonderful things she is. what a beautiful, proud moment for you both.

sweatpantsmom said...

This is such a beautiful tribute to your daughter. Congratulations to her and to you, momma.

J's Mommy said...

How sweet. It sounds like your daughter totally deserved it. Congrats for raising such a wonderful little person!

Izzy said...

How awesome! I would be just as proud. Yay Julia!

Janeen said...

Oh, how wonderful! Doesn't it feel great when the world acknowledges what you already know? Congratulations to both of you.

Tere said...

Aawww, you made me tear up!

Jessica New said...

SHE IS AN incredibly bright, kind, thoughtful, creative, talented, hard-working, generous, determined, responsible, sincere, smart, gifted, amazing, and beautiful young girl. She is one of a KIND!!
And I am PROUD to call her MY niece.
Such a pleasure to know.... Such A Real Pleasure!
Isn't that crazy that a child can make an adult want to be like them when they grow up???