The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

dang 7th grader

As I was lying in bed this morning completely and fully aware that I was the last person in our family to remain in a horizontal position (I hate getting up in the mornings), this voice appeared in the dark. “Mom? Can you come down in 15 minutes? Exactly?”

It was Emma. She’s 12. It was 6:26 am. She gets up every morning at 5:30. I do not.

This happens a couple of times a week so I knew why I was being summoned. I could smell it. Literally. She had turned our kitchen into the corner coffee shop. I could smell the toast, the eggs, the coffee and it lured me down the steps and into the waiting and welcoming good morning hug of … a fully showered and dressed 7th grader.

Dang 7th grader

Where does this come from? From whence did this child arrive? And why won’t she share some of what she’s got with me?

Emma had made breakfast for all four of us. Even her little brother, who – I can assure you – , deserves much less from his sister.

Mornings like this never fail to make me feel like the Terrible Mother of the Year, but as I was pouring my whiskey in my coffee, it hit me: That’s a pretty selfish way of thinking about this whole deal. This is how Emma shines. It’s not right for me to turn it into a Poor Me, I’m a Crappy Mother show. Truthfully, I think it would hurt her feelings if I tried to out-do her morning breakfasts.

Everybody has their strengths and weaknesses and everybody shines differently. We should congratulate people when their talents are on display. Mindset plays a big part in our ability to be happy and if your mind sees the fault within yourself before it sees the accomplishment of another, you’ll never get there. Be motivated by another’s greatness. Pity parties are not welcome. When you see someone doing something fantastic, tell them so. Think: Good game, man. If you want to figure out how to get that same slap on the back, do it on your own time.

As soon as I wake up in the morning, I’ll tell Emma good game. Should be right about 9:30.


16 responses to “dang 7th grader

  1. Nancy January 5, 2011 at 9:09 am

    What a sweet story!!! My morning devotion was along the same lines. Today’s theme seems to be: Praise others more!

  2. diane gottsman January 5, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Oh my gosh, I love Emma! She’s darling and I’m sure she takes after her mom. Her smile says it all.

  3. Marti Tolleson January 5, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Love me some Emma Lewis!!!! Kate you have hit the nail on the head with this one honey…it’s not always about us…let’s make other SHINE!!!!

  4. Tara Poole January 5, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Do you loan her out???? Incredible child!

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  6. Semi-Slacker Mom January 7, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Yeah, that day may be today. (see comment on pants post 1st)

  7. Megan (FriedOkra) January 7, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    *Cackle!* As you were pouring whiskey in your coffee! So funny. Great perspective, though, for a woman half in the bag and sleepy, too boot! 😉

  8. Rea January 7, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    What a lovely daughter!! This post is so very true! How you receive and appreciate a gift is so very important to the gift-giver! And each of us have special gifts to give. Enjoy your morning daughter! She’ll probably end up with a couple of kids that she can’t budge from the bed before noon!

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