Guess who was Star Student this week?
(Hint: Her name starts with a "G" and ends with "abby".)
And I'm proud to report that with the exception of one brief brain lapse (see more about recent brain lapses here), I didn't forget anything all week. (Never mind that the brain lapse happened the first day of the week...nothing an email reminder from her teacher couldn't repair.)
But aside from that one brain lapse, the Start Student made it to school every day with requisite posters, show-and-tell items, and family members in tact on the appropriate days at the appropriate times.
Friday (today) was the day for class treats. From the beginning of the year, as a dedicated member of the PTA board (when I remember to show up to meetings), I've completely championed the idea of the new Healthy Kids campaign in our elementary school. I even incorporated Healthy Kids into Red Ribbon Week to get it out there in front of parents, and to spread the word. Then as rewards for the winners in our Red Ribbon Week contest, we involved the winning classes in a fun physical activity rather than a donut party. I was gung-ho Healthy Kids all the way!
So when it was time for Gabby to take a classroom treat as Star Student, I decided to join the ranks of the dedicated parents who have chosen to substitute sugary snacks with a game or fun prizes rather than send students home from school all sugared up.
Best of intentions...
Enter the wild card...Gabby! (Can't believe I just called my own daughter a wild card, but for those who know Gabby, it fits.)
We talked all week about possible fun prizes or fun activities with her class, but even after all my best efforts, Gabby just couldn't be swayed. I was facing a life-sized parent dilemma: Do I:
a) let the Star Student be the Star Student and choose her own class treat?
b) use parent veto power and override the Star Student's main request for the week?
Also tugging at my heart was the idea of a girl who was star for a week, and got to call all the shots, who has missed out on the opportunity to be the star in her own life so many times before...times when adults didn't even protect her, let alone care about her choice of class treat on Star Student week. What would a little sugar hurt?
I'm also a little embarrassed to add that my ego was playing a role in this decision. The oldest daughter of the mom in charge of Healthy Kids is in Gabby's class. There was a part of me that, in spite of my daughter being Star Student, wanted to push her to make a healthy choice just to save face. (Yes, next I'll be starring in my own version of Desperate Housewives.)
The mom who values my child's independent spirit and new-found ability to learn to direct her own life won out. Gabby and I walked through the front doors of the school this morning loaded down with bags of cookies and sugary drinks, all designated for consumption by one very excited 4th grade class...right past the principal...right past the front office... I felt like I was smuggling contraband into the school.
I think my ego was showing again when I nervously tried explaining to Gabby's teacher why I was bringing sugar instead of a fun prize for the class... I'm sure she doesn't care, but I felt the need to explain myself anyway. When the words, "Gabby's choice" escaped my lips, I knew I didn't have to explain. Her body language told me she knew the same independent minded girl I knew.