A Great Daughter...But She's Not Mine

I think we might all agree that there is just too much negativity in this world.   Which is why I TRY to be positive.  I try to write about positive things.  That's why I wanted to share these thoughts today.

On a regular basis I drive more than just my son to school.  Depending on the day, I take one or more of his friends as our school music program starts before the official school day, which is pretty early for a tween or teen.  So, I volunteer to drive and then head off to work.

All the kids I take (including my son) are great, but I want to focus on one today...the girl who lives up the block.

I'm not going to give her name, but I'll address her as S (which is her first initial).  I've known S since she and her family first moved into our neighborhood.  She's my son's age (ok, a few months older), so they've been playing together since they were 5 or so years old.  She's the oldest sibling in a family of 4 kids and while I'm sure she's a pain in the you know what at times (I'm not naive), she's always been a ray of sunshine as far as I can tell.

When she was younger, she used to bound down the block and come knocking at our front door to see if my son could come out to play.  She was full of energy and enthusiasm.  While my son was much too shy and nervous to knock on her family's door; she was outgoing and all smiles.  There was never a question of not playing with the boys.  On our block the boys and girls have always played together...since the dawn of time.  (Or at least as far as it's been recorded by me.)  Older now, she will still come down sometimes to see if my son wants to come out and do something and I am always happy to see her at the door.

I am also always happy to pick her up in the morning.  I've been doing this for 4 years now.  (How did we manage to get to the last year in middle school?)  I don't think I've ever seen her grumpy in the morning.  (I cannot say the same for my son or some of his other friends.  This is NOT a criticism.  I think most everyone is grumpy in the morning...if not regularly, then at least on occasion.)  S is always a breath of fresh air.  She will come bounding out of the house; she moves so quickly it is almost as if her feet do not touch the ground.  In a flash she is in the car and we are ready to go.  She always seems to have a smile on her face.  She is willing to have a conversation with me (if I initiate one, which can be OH SO EMBARRASSING as my son would say).  She laughs.  She is just a joy to have in my car in the morning.

When we arrive at school, she always thanks me and then, along with my son, is quickly off to start the day.  I have no idea what the rest of her day might be like.  I don't know if this infectious enthusiasm follows her through the school.  I suspect it does.  I HOPE it does.

Now I know that this kid has problems just like every other kid in the world.  (Heck, just like everyone on the planet.)  I know that there have been academic challenges. (A kid wouldn't be human if he/she DIDN'T have them at one point or another.)  I've also heard that she's been the victim of bullying/mean girl syndrome.  (Seriously?  How can that be? )  There's a great deal of her life that I DON'T know about.

But the portion of my life that she IS a part of...those morning rides that last no more than a few minutes...are brightened by her.  (Dare I say my son's morning grumpies or general malaise is also lifted by her spirit?)  I look forward to the days when I take her to school because I know my day will be brighter because of her.

She may be young, but she makes a difference.  She brightens MY day and my mood is lighter as I head into traffic.  Sonny Curtis said it best, even though he wasn't speaking about S when he sang: "Who can turn the world on with her smile? Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Well it's you girl, and you should know it

With each glance and every little movement you show it."  I'm positive, that's S is going to make it after all!


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