I love my daughter, Leah. She is one hot mess. I often tell her she's my sunshine. Most people see her as the perfect little girl -- a good student, always on best behavior, helpful, and kind. The people closest to her get to delight in the fullness of her personality.
She's all the things I listed above, but she's also feisty, funny, and full of spunk. And messy! Leah is fiercely independent and she's the best little entrepreneur on the block. (She gets that from my Dad, a long-time, successful small business owner.) And she's a talker. Oh she's a talker. My husband says the same about me. We slap him when he says that about us.
Earlier this week, I did something a little scandalous. I like to follow the rules in life. I love spontaneity and adventure and pushing limits, but I will do all of those things while still finding a way to follow the rules. Leah likes to follow the rules, too. Except of course when she can bend them just a bit for a good cause. You see, Leah created a My Little Pony (MLP) Fan Club in her class. The Club even has a mission statement and rules. (Smile.) Anyone can join and everyone must be kind. She's a great leader!
The problem is that students aren't allowed to bring toys to school. For two weeks, she's been sneaking them in through her purse, transferring them to her lunch box, and taking them out at recess. Every girl gets a pony, and they have their club meeting on the playground. It's all very innocent and sweet. She told me her plans to sneak them in this week during state testing, but only on the day they weren't being tested. It sounded reasonable, and well, I'm sort of in a "carpe diem" phase right now. It was Wednesday. And then she forgot her purse. I dropped her off at school and she had no idea it was still at home on the couch. I had a decision to make -- let her suffer the consequences of being forgetful AND breaking a rule, or break the rule along with her and let her have some fun. I chose fun.
It was a big deal for rule-follower me to knowingly march into the school office and insist my daughter needed her bag with its whimsical, colorful contents. Inside my heart was pounding. I had a demure smile even though I wanted to scream, "I have cancer; just let my daughter have the contraband!" They know me well in the office and surely never suspected it was anything but highly scholastic. When Leah came to the office to get the purse, she was white as a sheet. She was terrified of getting caught. The principal even complimented her on her purse! She barely spoke to me. She was so scared.
In the end no one was the wiser. Mission accomplished. MLP meeting in the books. Smiles for sneaky, little girls under the green slide. (Before you go crazy, I won't be doing this with alcohol and cigarettes in high school. I just wanted to bless the girl who blesses me so much every day.) Later we laughed. She couldn't believe I brought the ponies to school!
How can you surprise your kids today? Lavish them with love, hug them tight, do something unexpected. Might I suggest ice cream for dinner?