SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Friday, November 5, 2010

Phew! Thanks!!

It was PTA time and my daughter had prepared me well.

I know that Spellings and Handwriting are her nemesis. I keep telling myself, I need to work on her spellings.
...well...not done anything about that actively yet!

I land up at school and march into her class. All the parents too are seated at the desks waiting like school children for their report card!

I take my seat like a good Mom and start chatting with a fellow parent and friend. The usual cribs and complaints are exchanged and I wait expectantly to be called for (my) report card!

Yes! My number is called, and I hop, leap and jump to take the report.
A's and A+ flash at me. I smile and shake my head indulgently at the spellings and handwriting column.

That is when the teacher points out a section of the card that needs to be filled out. A box that asks for strengths and achievements.

Achievements; hmm...I contemplate on that. Children nowadays are Mini Achievers. Awards, Certificates, Prizes. Is that how I can feel proud of my child, or make the school proud?

As far as I am concerned my daughter is an achiever, she participates in every possible competition that comes her way, whether she gets a prize or not. That's not something I have taught her, that's who she is, and add to that the fact that she really doesn't care if she wins or not. She can come away and tell me"I had fun". ( Ok...truthfully...sometimes I do fret, that attitude is never going to get her a prize!...but that's the Type A in me!!)

Strengths; hmm...again I stare at her. There have been many occasions when I have drawn strength from her. Her unconditional and amazing display of affection and love for me keeps me going. I have wondered and asked her "Why" many times. She gives me a beautiful smile and says "Because"!! A word with infinite meaning and no meaning at the same time! That's her.

So what do I write about her strengths?

She is looking over my shoulder.

I feel a little apprehensive and time seems to slow down as both of us look at each other. She expectantly and me nervously. I am not joking.

Beads of perspiration form on my upper lip and I stare once again at the paper. I know what I am going to write will have a tremendous impact on her and this is a moment in her childhood that I am never going to forget.

What do I write?

I tentatively write; "Team Spirited".

She looks at me with a question on her face.

Then I quickly pen the words "Independent Thinker".

She breaks out into a smile.

I sigh with relief!

I know it is/was impossible to write my thoughts in that minuscule space given. Choosing the apt words is the most difficult task and then choosing the words that reflect her best.

Phew! I came away feeling grateful for this experience. Grateful that in such moments, a divine power literally guides our hand!!


  1. labels - good/bad have a profound impact on tender minds.
    Kudos to the lovely mom in you- you will be raising an independent thinker and a team spirited citizen of the future.

    regarding your lines on attitude....Yes, it is not going to get them a prize but atleast they are not down and out. They can try next time with renewed spirit.
    Even my son is like that. If he loses in the prelims of the elocution/ debate. HE says ' It's
    okay ma. Now I can concentrate better on my tests.'. And I love this positive attitude.
    It would help to take life's ups and down easily.

    I loved this post.

  2. Lovely post! Liked your choice of words for those columns! How old is your daughter?

  3. Our children are our gifts, and they help us find ourselves... Kudos to Uthara for being who she is...

  4. Very touching ! A well written piece.

  5. This was so nice! samhith is the same... he wants to participate in everything and gives his name, and then when i ask him to prepare, he says, its ok... i will manage, and after its over, says he enjoyed it even if he didnt win a prize! i am the one who worries... though i too dont push him to win. But yes, putting down his strengths or weaknesses in just a word or two is rather difficult... wish they didnt ask us to do stuff like that!