The bus pulls right up to the house and honks. I watch through the glass as she struggles to get her backpack in place and then she pulls the lever to open the doors–the bus driver lets her do it. She trudges up the driveway with heavy steps, tired from the effort of her full school day. She comes through the door and lets her bookbag fall to the floor. She peels off her shoes, grateful for this soft place to land.
I offer a snack: applesauce or string cheese or one of Daddy’s granola bars. She sits at the table and asks about my day–thoughtful questions. What did you have for lunch? Do you still have a headache? What did you do today? With the snack to tide her over she disappears behind the closed door of her bedroom and acts out a scene from her favorite show. Every single word falls perfectly into place.
On laundry day she thanks me for washing her clothes. After breakfast, she thanks me for the eggs. Or oatmeal. Or toast.
On my birthday, she drew a picture of the two of us together, eating ice cream (her favorite). In the block printing she practices so hard to master she wrote the words: happy birthday mom. She spelled it right.
She takes great pride in clearing the table, and being extra careful with the glass plates.
Can you pray with me? she asks each bedtime. And if I forget, she adds prayers for our sponsored children, by name. She remembers them every time.
There are those who sling hateful words around to garner a bit of fame. In hopes of a higher Klout score. To incite outrage.
My daughter–at twelve–knows something so many have yet to learn. On her way out the door every morning I prompt her: what are you going to use today? Kind words, she answers.
It’s a shame Ann Coulter can’t do the same.