Amazing grace

Okayokay…I’m done griping about the 3Day thing. Hey! Whaddya expect! It’s called TRUE LIFE! You gotta expect me to throw a little tanturm every once in awhile. I mean, the people who know me….think about it… So all I’ll say today is Happy St. Paddy’s day t’ya!

St. Urho’s Day treated the TRUEs very kindly. I won’t spoil Lynn’s news because she will, I am guessing, want to post it on her CaringBridge site sometime today. Let’s simply suffice here to say that we had an appointment with her oncologist yesterday, and it was a good one. Not out of the woods yet, but we can see the hint of a clearing up ahead.

The other thing that happened was that Syd had her cheerleading banquet last night. I have to tell you in all honestly that after sitting on my butt for nearly seven hours at the hospital, I looked forward to going to this thing about as much as I look forward to the possibility of plague. I had already gotten absolutely nothing done, except nodding off all day, and STILL I was tired. Man, I just hate that place.

ANYWAY, back to our story… So, we went: Lynn, Syd, and I. Us getting there, by the way, was something of a minor miracle because we had neither RSVP’d nor paid for the dinner as of Monday. Last Sunday, our friend Julie (who happens to also be the cheerleader booster club treasurer), approached me between services and asked me whether we were planning to attend the cheerleader dinner.

“Uh…” Was my intelligent response. “What cheerleader dinner?”

She clued me in, as no one had mentioned to me anything about any stinkin’ cheerleader dinner. Then she told me we needed to pay up BEFORE the dinner, or Lynn and I couldn’t attend. No..she didn’t get it either, but rules was rules, and all. Well, as luck would have it, I didn’t have my checkbook on me, so it was “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” I told her I’d stop by her house on Monday night after I picked up Lynn from the airport.

When I talked to Lynn on the phone that night, she was all, “That’s this Tuesday?”

“Yup.”

To make a long story short, we got the money in and we went. …And it was about what I expected it would be. Will someone, someone PUL-EEEEAZE clue all these award banquet people about how to present awards, et al., without absolutely boring people in the process?

Then…came the JV cheerleader awards.

Syd had already gotten kind of brushed over during the mock awards. Her fall squad leader has obviously forgotten about her, and she gave her some lame-ass award like the “you’re really nice” award or something. I could tell that Syd was a little disappointed about that. Heck, I would be, too.

“Cellophane
“Mister cellophane
“Should have been my name
“Mister cellophane
“’cause you can look right through me
“Walk right by me
“And never know I’m there!”
–from the musical “Chicago”

Know what I mean?

There were three JV awards given out. The first one was the Spirit Award, given to the girl who showed the most excitement and dedication througout the year. That award went to Syd’s pal Nicole, and rightly so. The next award, Rookie of the Year, was a little more controversial, at least in our eyes.

That award went to Tiffany, who by all accounts has been the queen bee-otch of the hive all year. She has been the yin to Sydney’s yang, her arch-nemesis, her Lex Luthor, her Dr. Doom, her… Well, you get the point. Needless to say that when Tiffany’s name was called, I could see Sydney’s shoulders slump.

See, Sydney, Nicole, and Tiffany were all three chosen as JV squad leaders. Whereas Syd and Nicole worked very well together, the third leg of the table did not want to hold up her end. Or rather, she thought that she could (and should) hold up the table by herself. She wanted to by the boss. I mean, who not? She’s a sophmore, and the other girls were mere freshmen. As a result, Sydney and I had many a conversation pertaining to the Tiffany sitation…what to do, how to handle it, whom to go to. It was, in the end, a good object lesson for Syd–how to be an effective leader in a difficult situation. Yet, it took a toll on her, as well. And when Tiff’s name was called…

Then, it came time for the final award: the Coach’s Award. This was the biggie–the girl chosen by the coach, herself, as the most valuable assest to the team, the girl who showed the most leadership throughout the year. I don’t need to build it up any more than I already have. Of course, it went to my little girl–well, my not-so-little girl, I should say.

Her eyes almost bugged out of her head, she was so surprised. She looked back at Lynn and me, lit up like a lightbulb. We had to shoo her up to retrieve her award, a big honker of a trophy, nearly double the size of the other ones.

My daughter is the embodiment of the word “grace”. She is a gentle and just soul. She is fair and is always senstive of others’ feelings, sometimes to her own detriment. She doesn’t like to make waves, and when she does, they are gentle ones. And I love her for it.

She has often been frustrated, though, because she has definitely gotten bitten by the “nice guys finish last” syndrome in the past. She’s gotten lost in the shuffle because she is neither flashy nor bitchy enough to get the notice that other girls get. Further, she’s not an attention grabber in the first place. She’s one of those people who do the work for the sake of the work. I mean, yes…she craves attention and notice. Who doesn’t? But she is satisfied with knowing in her own heart–and, I imagine, in our hearts (her mom’s and mine)–that she has done well. And done good.

It is, however, nice that just this once, she got to see that nice guys sometimes finish first.

The picture at the top is my beautiful daughter on her first birthday. Our friend Lisa and I dragged her halfway around the state of New Mexico that day on a quest for the perfect Monte Cristo sandwich. This photo was taken at the City of Rocks in the middle of the high desert country somewhere between Deming and Silver City.

She has come so far since then…yet one thing hasn’t changed: that grace. I often tell people that Sydney is the moral compass for our family. And it’s TRUE…all TRUE. Every day I get to spend with her, I am amazed and awed. I wrote it here before, but I’ll say it again…I say that I am her teacher, but in reality I am the student. Everyday she teaches me something new and wonderful. Every day I am saved by her amazing grace.

I love ya, kiddo. And I am proud of you. My baby girl.

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