Monday, January 11, 2010

Dare to be Polite!


One thing Mark always stresses with the kids, especially our son Cyrus, is to offer people a firm handshake and look 'em in the eye. None of this weak, no-eye-contact stuff. So last week when Ally received her DARE graduation certificate, I was so proud of how she looked both her classroom and DARE teachers in the eye and said "thank you" as she shook their hands. The second from the last to receive her "diploma", she was one of the few who had the courage to make eye contact, smile, and thank her teachers. "Attagirl!" I said softly to myself, because nothing says "I don't care" or "I'm too wrapped up in my insecurity to even look at you for two seconds" like a grab-and-go award recipient.

Mark always makes sure to shake every football player's hand at his program's award ceremony (which he could just as easily pass off to his assistant coaches) and look the boys squarely in the eyes, so as to elicit the same response of care back from them. It's like saying, "Wait a minute! I'm not letting you off the hook so easily - you earned this award; I took the time to recognize you for it, and now I want to see if it really means anything to you. Don't just walk away from me without some eye contact."

Deputy Nate Gallagher did a fantastic job of explaining the DARE program and commending the fifth and sixth graders who took part. Each child wrote an essay, and two of the kids were selected to share theirs out loud in front of all of their parents. Although not selected for that honor, as a doting parent it is my pleasure and pride to share an excerpt from Allison's essay:
I pledge to be responsible in making my decisions about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs...when I grow up will be able to go back and say "That was a good choice." I will also use my ways to be in charge and say no and go.

The kids really enjoyed being around Officer Nate. They even had him sign the back of their t-shirts! I couldn't help but wonder, what an awesome thing to have this positive relationship with local law enforcement. It would be great if he could come into the school every year through senior year as a follow-up!
Of course, the most important adults in the children's lives are their PARENTS. It is my job, more than anybody else's, to stay involved with Ally, to pull out that pledge she wrote in 5th grade every now and then, and most importantly, to live a life free of contradictions and poor choices.
I'll take that dare! (with God's help!)

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.--1 Corinthians 11:1

2 Comments:

Blogger Astrid said...

Fantastic! That looks like a neat program. Love what Allie wrote. Great post Amy!

January 11, 2010 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks, Astrid. I was just so proud of our big girl.

January 12, 2010 at 6:21 AM  

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