I receive many, many emails from my children’s schoolâ€”early closings, performances, graduations, Scholastic book orders. Truth be told, though, because there are six teachers between my three children, and I often receive the exact same piece of news from all six of the teachers, I tend to skin most of the emails that come in. And sometimes I just click the lovely delete button and they go into the trash as quickly as all those annoying Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy emails I wake up to every single morning.
Sometimes, though, an email comes in that makes me stop, makes me reread (at least twenty times), makes me so proud.
My son recently did a project for school. Because he’s not the keener that his older sister is, I didn’t really hear much about it. He did not do any of the things that Emily does in the months and weeks leading up to presentations. He didn’t print me up a supply list or ask me to help him cut out bubble letters. He didn’t want to read me his speech 642 times to make sure his projection and infection were perfection. Different drummer he marches to. He had a long time to work on the project, but because he didn’t want to taaaalk about it all the time, I sort of forgot that it was even happening.
A few nights before the presentation, he finally came to me to ask for some art supplies. He finally came to me and asked me to print something. He finally wanted to discuss the project.
My first instinct was to get upsetâ€”Why did you leave this to the last minute, Joshua??
But then I realized what was really happening. He had done the researchâ€”lots of it. He had planned out his visual presentationâ€”all of it. He had written his entire speechâ€”and memorized it. He just needed a little help with the execution process.
He had done the entire thing himself; He didn’t need my help or even want my help.
And then I read this email.
Just wanted to congratulate Josh on a wonderful presentation on Friday. His personal connection made the presentation so meaningful to him, and this was evident in the way he spoke. His delivery was wonderful, his research well done, and his answers to the class’s questions showed his understanding of this wonderful charity. The class enjoyed the follow-up activity too! He really is a wonderful speaker and his “acting” ability shines through. Well done Josh! You should be proud of yourself!
And he was. Proud of himself.
But not as proud as I was.
And I’m so thankful I took the time to read the email.
And that my son marches to a different drummerâ€”because it’s a pretty good one.