Graduation Contest Entry #1
My daughter, Adrienne, is the epitome of grace. Unlike her high-strung, Scotch-Irish mother (me!), she truly knows how to exude both confidence and humility in the face of life’s ups and downs and there are so many things that have surprised us through the years! As she graduates from high school this year, it is so hard to believe that a beautiful ballerina has developed from an almost 9-pound bundle of energy and joy that surprised her college student father and myself 18 years ago! When she was a little girl, she was somewhat shy, yet she sat back and took in all that was around her and bounded her way through every new adventure and stage in life – school, friendships, everything! – with a sense of wonder and acceptance that showed wisdom far beyond her years. She is a typical girl who giggles when her dad and brothers are being silly and sometimes cries too easily when she gets frustrated at her inability to master a new dance step, but in so many ways she is NOT typical in her kindness and acceptance of others. An accomplished dancer, Adrienne’s physical poise and grace have brought me to tears, especially when I know that she has struggled to work on a certain skill or has put in extra time in order to be chosen for a special part in a dance. One of the most amazing things that she has demonstrated is the ability to retain healthy, vibrant friendships while not succumbing to typical teenage girl angst. As a teacher of adolescents since Adrienne was just a year old, I braced myself for the onslaught of tears and drama that I knew would come when she hit middle school . . . but it never came! Poised and patient, she smiled and watched as her friends’ worries came and went; while she certainly had some hurts and disappointments along the way, her faith and optimism provided an unwavering foundation on which she stood until life got better. Even though many of her classmates’ parents have been able to buy them expensive gadgets, cars, and toys through the years, Adrienne has embraced our thrift store budget and not complained a single time. She has babysat her three younger siblings countless times and expected no payment in return. This year, when we offered to give her some money to buy a new (rather than used) prom dress, she decided to let us keep that money to help pay for her senior portraits. As she has gotten older, her giggles and easy tears in the face of frustration have given way to a single-minded focus to become the best dancer, student, and most recently – artist – that she can possibly be. When she turned 16, Adrienne received a purity ring from us, and although she has been ostracized and teased mercilessly because of her stance about abstinence, she has stood her ground, gaining the respect and sometimes even grudging admiration of her peers. Although she is the first to admit when she is in the wrong, she does not let her weaknesses or mistakes define who she is and who she will become. Recently, she was recognized as a regional winner for a series of drawings that all featured a single common item somewhere in the piece: her purity ring. Her art teacher told us that she believes that Adrienne’s commentary about why the ring was featured in her portfolio was as much the reason for her winning the award as the artwork itself – what a proud moment for us as her parents! As she prepares to make the transition from high school to college, we have no doubt that Adrienne’s grace will continue to amaze us – and the wider world that she is walking into will be better because she is a part of it.
Written by: Adrienne’s mother, Robin
To enter our graduation contest, tell us what surprised you most about your high school or college grad. You could win up to $100 in graduation product at Pear Tree! Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, email and phone number and then watch for it to be posted on our blog. But hurry–this graduation contest ends April 1st!