Tears streamed down my son’s face. He held up his diploma in front on him to hide the tears and disappointment. Graduating from 1st grade should be a fun little celebration with friends. This wasn’t what he had imagined. You see, my J is a very sensitive boy. He is talented in so many ways. His greatest talent, he feels, is his artwork. He was looking forward to the art trophy he was going to receive at the awards ceremony. The actuality of it was he received a certificate for participating in the art show. The tears were of disappointment and a little of shame. My heart broke for him. The problem here is that he failed to listen to his announcement beyond his name, beyond searching the table or in his folder for some sort of large, ornate, gleaming proof that he was an amazing artist. He failed to take this in, “For Academic Excellence in all subject areas, High Honor Roll and participation in th
e art show……” My son had been awarded for having ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE in all subject areas, but was still very sad that he did not have a trophy. He looked around at all the children with their mylar balloon bouquets and “Build with Love” Build A Bear Stuffed Animals. He felt defeated.
Why do we do this to ourselves? How can I show my son that academic excellence, that “A Honor Roll” is nothing to sneeze at. How do I express to him that his art is amazing and my love for him is overwhelmingly HUGE? Without a trophy, I feel powerless, as if my opinion is not validated somehow.
This past weekend we had a garage sale in preparation of our upcoming move. My husband and I were cleaning out memories and trinkets of our own. I had some trophies from track, shoe boxes of medals, ribbons and letters from sports, drama, music. As I stared into that box I felt proud. J was so impressed with my high jump medals and all the colorful ribbons. Once the sale was over and the junk that remained was donated or just thrown out, those trinkets; medals, ribbons and trophies got dropped in our dumpster. I know with confidence that at one point in my life I had some talent and ability for running, hurdling, racing and jumping pretty darn high. Today, I don’t need a box of medals and ribbons to remember that time. I made quite a few good friends in track, spent some fun bus rides discussing the things that are important to teenagers, I have a few scars on my knees. I’m good. I know J will be too. It just makes me sad that recognition needs to somehow be materialized or it doesn’t seem valid. So, I’m taking this to God in prayer.
My prayer for my children is this; God, let them see the value they have through your eyes. You are their creator. You have gifted them each so very differently but so perfectly. They were made to serve you and honor you. Give them the confidence of knowing that they have earned High Honor with you as they daily live in your word and walk in your ways. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.