Finding Gratitude over Pride

This summer, Molly starts swim team.  I could focus on how proud I am of her for knowing how to swim and having the confidence to go out and do it, being the youngest member of the team. But more than anything, I'm grateful for the opportunities my kids have. 
I teach in a school with a lot of students who don't seem to have the parental involvement and/or resources that I think are crucial to raising kids. While I I find myself frustrated with parents' lack of attention to the things that I value, my own parents raised me with enough compassion to realize that I shouldn't criticize unless "I've walked in another's shoes." So as my own children get older, in addition to feeling proud of Anna Cate and Molly, I'm really grateful for the leaders, coaches and teachers who help us raise them to participate in activities like sports, music and church. 

Several weeks ago, Anna Cate ran in a fun run at another Elementary School. She was sick on Friday but pushed through to run because her own elementary gym teacher would be there cheering for her.

Anna Cate finished her winter swim league and placed in every event. 

Her favorite stroke is the butterfly and I'm so proud her.
She has great coaches who want her to have fun as much as they care about learning the strokes. She gets a great work out twice a week while BJ and I get to work out, too. Nearby, there is another program, which is a lot more intense and competitive, and I will have to figure out the right time to step it up.
The girls are the reason we go to church on Wednesday night.  I always find God there, and it is fabulous, authentic fellowship but is such a hassle to get to church by 5:15 on a Wednesday night for dinner and the children's choir practice at 6. The girls love it, though, and the season culminated in a really fun musical.

As we were waiting anxiously for summer to begin, we've enjoyed some evenings at the pool, including a play date with our best friends.

But I think it is fair to say, we were ready for  summer as we enjoyed the traditions of winding down a school year. Anna Cate had an amazing 2nd grade experience; her teacher was fabulous, kind, firm, consistent and a great teacher. Anna Cate is reading a chapter book a week and I'm so thankful she has had such a good experience in the classroom, and I'm quite proud of her reading. But I realize, it is not just her…it's that great teacher!!

An "end of the year" tradition is the sleepover at Miss Diana's. She goes "all out" throughout the year to make fun memories for the children for whom she cares, but the Spring sleepover are over the top in the  most fantastic way. Each year, there is a theme. . . kept a secret. This year, Molly forgot her pillow and at 4'o clock when I stopped by Diana's to say, "have a good time" to Molly, I offered to come back to bring the pillow. Diana said, "you can't come --- I'm not giving you a sneak peek." 

Anna Cate enjoyed a Pirate's Paradise, a Hawaiian luau, a cowboy hoe-down, and Molly's first experience was a beach party last year, and last weekend Molly and her friends were treated to a camp out.

CampOut from Sarah King on Vimeo.

The next day, my best friend Norah took the girls to a missions day at church where they did a series of good things, including taking potted plants to a group home.

Recently, in Molly's prayers, she says, "God, thank you for helping others and teaching us to help people." I think she embodies what I'm trying to say and to live ---- focus on being grateful for the experiences and the people who make them possible.

 All that we behold is full of blessings. ~William Wordsworth