Last year my daughter’s teacher asked that parents write a letter to them describing how we saw our kids. This is how I see my daughter…
(I deleted her name wherever I had written it and my other childrens names too I also updated their ages)
When thinking about my daughter, many wonderful things come to mind. She is the oldest of 3 children and the only female. She has 2 brothers, ages 9 and 11. She faces things on an every day basis that the average child or adult for that matter would not even fathom and she does so gracefully and with compassion. You see, her 11 year old brother was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2. He is also non-verbal and has self injurious behaviors that we work with every day so that they can some day be non-existent. She shows her brothers so much love in the way she does things with them and for them. I personally don’t think it’s something She has “adapted” to but more like it is a part of our lives, it is normal, it is our life period. She is very compassionate and very sensitive. Topics like illness and death make her very sad and although she understands what they both are she takes it very hard even when it comes to an animal.
My daughter’s creativity is endless and she is funny, combining those two make for a very fun conversation. She loves writing and someday aspires to become a writer/author. She writes books that only we read all the time and has quite the collection. She loves to sing too and last year at Twin Lakes she participated in her school choir. She is not shy when it comes to taking part in school activities or speaking in public.
I always say She is 12 years old going on 30. The reason I say that is because she is very wise for her age and to the best of her 12-year-old abilities makes excellent choices. She understands about respect, about caring for people and loving people as they are. But yet she still possesses the qualities and innocence of an 12 year old. Sometimes a little more innocent than the average.
I have no intentions on keeping her or any of my other children in a bubble but I feel that exposing them at an early age to unnecessary information (my finances, crime, some sexual topics, some TV shows, some movies, news, behaviors) can take away from the innocence they have and as I see it, it will all happen in due time and children should be allowed to be children. By the same token when I am asked anything I am very truthful and give the necessary information as to not confuse my children or burden them with more than they can handle. She is also very honest and will tell the truth even knowing that the truth can have consequences that she may not be very happy with. She is not crass but she will always be as truthful as possible. I always say the truth can cause you trouble but a lie is something you have to live with waiting to see if ever exposed and by then may cause more damage than whatever the truth may have been.
Language is very important in our home. I come from Puerto Rico and my primary language is Spanish. My children do not speak it but understand quite a bit. I speak my language properly and have worked and continue to work very hard every day to do the same with English. Slang is not allowed in our home. Vulgarity isn’t either and words that can be hurtful are not to be in our vocabularies either (stupid, moron, idiot, etc). My children hear those words and say to whom ever is saying them that they just said a “bad word”. I explain that they are not necessarily bad words but more like unnecessary words that people often use but that they are not to repeat them. They never address each other under any circumstances using those words. They never belittle each other or others. I am very proud of her for being the way she is, I am proud of all of them.
She is very competitive. Even with herself. Sometimes it can get the best of her as she will get frustrated trying to get a higher score or to beat someone at a game or to do better next time than she did the time before at whatever the task may have been. I guess that has its pro’s and its con’s.
She enjoys helping and feeling like she can do things that although not expected of her would make things smoother. I see it every day. Her only chore at home is to keep her room clean because with having the siblings she has our day consists of lots and lots of help that is not even asked of her but more like second nature to her and I thank God every day for giving me the perfect balance in my children. She is my rock, I don’t give her more responsibility than she needs but she is truly a pretty even keeled child with depth, understanding, sensitivity, compassion and innocence. My 9-year-old will always keep my mind sharp as he is always very inquisitive about everything and holds more information in that brain than a set of encyclopedias can hold in all its pages and my 11-year-old keeps me physically active and strong and constantly thinking outside the box.
In mother words I have to say that She is beautiful both inside and out, she makes my world go round and I feel like the luckiest parent to have been blessed with such a wonderful human being to be a part of my existence. I guess as a teacher, you will find your own words to describe the wonder that is my daughter and I hope that you can see even a fraction of what I see in my own child.