Thursday, November 6, 2008

What Jackie Robinson and I have in Common according to my Daughter

Last night, as I was looking over one of my daughter's homework assignments, I discovered a remarkable silent gift that she'd given to me.

Her reading group is currently studying a book about Jackie Robinson, the black baseball player who broke the "baseball color line" and ended segregation in professional baseball.

Her teacher had given her the following assignment.

"Connector: Your job is to find connections between the book your group is reading and the world outside. This means connecting the reading to your own life, to happenings at school or in the community, to similar events at other times and places, to other people or problems that you are reminded of. You might also see connections between this book and other writings on the same topic, or by the same author. There are not right answers here - whatever the reading connects you with is worth sharing!"

My daughter had written the following responses:

"The U.S. was at war with Japan and now we're at war with Iraq."

"Jackie got insulted just like another Jackie who was a woman."

There were other answers, but the one that made tears leap to my eyes was this one...

"Jackie Robinson inspired Hank my Mom inspires me."


I have to say that I've been flying high on this thought all rainy day long. I've never been anyone's "inspiration" before, and how incredibly wonderful to hear that I inspire my DAUGHTER! Oh, of course I know that she loves me, as we have a great mother-daughter relationship. But to hear that I INSPIRE her???


Like many pre-teens, my daughter has many heroes...famous authors, pioneers, presidents, musicians, it is amazing to me that I still fill the #1 position in her eyes.

People who know me know that I did not have an inspirational-type mother. I have often feared that I wouldn't be very good at this parenting gig, based on my own childhood. On some dark days, when I'm being particularly hard on myself about past mistakes or my incredible procrastination, being "inspirational" seems like a heavy load to bear. That one little sentence made my heart soar.

May your day be full of tiny little presents, just waiting to be unwrapped.

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