Wednesday, May 21, 2008

May flowers bring more than Pilgrims...

The kids are not allowed to post a countdown to the last day of school, but many parents are doing the counting for them (yes, that would be me!). Year end projects and final exams coupled with Spring Fever make an exhausting combination. Then toss in the end of baseball season, ballet/jazz rehearsals and performances, award ceremonies... it all adds up to schedule conflicts and the "Who's on First" game.

And pollen season is also gearing up... with itchy eyes that test waterproof makeup and noses that run faster than an Olympian... Why are my eyes so red -- have I been crying? drinking too much? nope, it's allergy season!

We went to school to see our children receive awards for their academic success. This has become an annual ritual that we all enjoy and appreciate. The kids work very hard throughout the year and forgo some "fun stuff" because "school comes first."

This year's awards, however, were particulary special to us as parents. Our daughter earned the "Citizenship Award" for her leadership, kindness, and looking out for others. Lots of kids earn strong grades (something we value and expect), and I'll continue to honor and recognize them.

But this Citizenship Award is particularly special -- it recognizes the traits that are so important to our civil society. As a society we don't really recognize positive character and integrity. We hold it as a standard, yet we've become cynical and come to expect self-centered, greedy behavior as the norm. White collar scandals, marital scandals, and street crime are covered in every media form. People who go above and beyond don't receive the same type of recognition -- it isn't considered "newsworthy." The truth is, it doesn't sell ads.

I am so pleased that our children's school decides to hold up Citizenship as an attribute worthy of recognition. I know that my son is motivated to follow in his sister's footsteps and win the award next year -- how's that for healthy competition?



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