She's thirteen. She does things to annoy her brother. She leaves her towel on the floor in the bathroom. She puts headphones on and listens to music that sometimes ventures into grey areas I have yet to define and ignores everything going on around her. And I get tired and frustrated, and even though she is a completely awesome kiddo, I get irritated at the little things...like leaving her heavy coat behind on the coldest day we've had yet. But then, she comes home and tells me this completely awesome story.
In language arts today, her new teacher read the class a campaign speech for a fictional candidate. She had the students analyze the speech and decide whether or not they would vote for the candidate. They organized their thoughts in a paper, and then the teacher took a poll. She asked a show of hands of who would vote for the candidate. Every single student raised their hand; every student except Mags. Then she asked who would not vote for the candidate. Mags, of course, was the only one to raise her hand.
I pause here in the story to take note. I would not have done this at thirteen. I would have voted with everyone else, regardless of how I really felt. I needed that validation of my friends at thirteen. She does not. I say this to just let you know that she's a pretty awesome kiddo, but thank goodness, God is in control of that. She is venturing into a territory of self-confidence that I know nothing about still to this day. I try to guide her, but really it is most often me learning from her and being amazed. This was the case today.
The teacher smiled and looked at Mag's hand, all alone in the air, and dared to ask her why she felt that way. She listed off a variety of reasons (I read the paper, they were pretty decent reasons). Mags said that when she finished explaining why she would not have voted for the candidate, the teacher revealed that she had actually read a speech by Hitler. She just changed the names.
I am proud of her ability to think clearly and logically. I am proud of her ability to be able to analyze information and sort it accordingly. But I am most proud, that at thirteen, she still dances to her own music. She is not afraid to stand alone. She's not afraid to say what she thinks. She's not afraid to take chances and risk being wrong. She is still something else.
And I'm pretty sure her new teacher probably feels the same way.