Tag Archives: Celina

Benefit of the Doubt

CJ hockeyLast week my daughter, Celina, worked on a hand-written letter (with a colored picture) to the two ladies who serve lunch at her school. It was kind and sweet. She thanked them for fixing the food and also mentioned some of her favorites. I didn’t think much about the note because every once in a while she will write a note to her teacher.

Now, I wish I had taken a picture of the note and here is why:

I went to Celina’s parent-teacher conference this morning. Academics, math, reading – she is doing great at school, but the thing Joe and I care about most as her parents is how is she BE-ing at school. She is kind, gets along with others, takes leadership, and she is loved and respected by her teachers and fellow students. She has a great reputation in all parts of the school.

Two things caught my attention today. First, her teacher explained how when it is Thursday and they go to the library Celina walks in and says to the librarian, “I love Thursdays because I get to see you!” How sweet is that? She makes people feel good.

The second story that really caught my attention today was about the lunch ladies. Apparently before Christmas Celina had a “run-in” with one of the lunch ladies. Celina had taken two scoops of veggies instead of one (seriously kid!) and the lunch lady “got in her face and yelled at her.” Another teacher witnessed the incident and told Celina’s teacher that she might want to check in with Celina. As her teacher told me the story she got that mother bear look in her eye as if saying, “Nobody messes with Celina!”

CJThe immediate thought going through my head was that I can’t believe she didn’t tell me this happened. And, I thought about the note she wrote last week that was full of kindness, without an ounce of anger or condemnation.

How would you respond? As the mom? As the teacher? As the kid?

I’ve seen plenty of poor reactions in life, as a teacher myself, as a coach, and watching my kids play sports. When people over-react “in our face” it doesn’t often sit well and it impacts the relationship in the future. I wrote about forgiveness last year and how the steps of forgiveness take intentional action and thought. Forgiveness is not natural.

Yes, I’m pretty sure I thought through all of these things in the short time this story was told to me, but then came the kicker.

When Celina’s teacher asked her what happened at lunch and if she was ok, Celina’s response came with a wave of her hand and a shrug of her shoulder. “It’s ok. She must be having a bad day.” And off she went.

Have you ever heard the phrase “benefit of the doubt?” Does anyone in your path need to be given the “benefit of the doubt?” Are you too intent on being right or having justice that you are unable to just let something go? Imagine all the conflict (and internal anger) that could be eliminated if we reacted today with a little more “Celina.”

Be Extraordinary!

(I’m Traci, the “Be Extraordinary!” blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)

Managing Life’s Disappointments

photo 2-1I was watching my 7-year-old, Celina, attempt to manage some disappointment the other day. Actually she made no effort to manage it — she was feeling it fully. Her second grade world often involves disappointments like not receiving the pencil prize, or losing three minutes of recess because the entire class would not be quiet. On this particular day things did not turn out how Celina had planned in her mind. She and BJ (her 10-year-old sister) had sold pie certificates from the local pie company for a school fundraiser. They worked together and knew they would share the prizes. If your kids have done fundraisers like Jump Rope for Heart or jog-a-thon you know they have a list of prizes that accumulate based on how much is sold. BJ and Celina had sold enough to receive prizes A-G and had figured out who would keep which prizes.

On prize day, the girls got off the bus with only a small envelope. Apparently the listed prizes were only for the sale of cookie dough; the girls had sold only pies. Celina was devastated. She was especially sad over the loss of the finger puppet. Did you read that? She was devastated because she didn’t earn the finger puppet! It seems ridiculous, doesn’t it?

photo 5Perspective. In Celina’s world it was a big deal and a big disappointment. Life didn’t go as she planned. I can be guilty of the same thing; in the middle of a situation it is easy to lose perspective and only see the one thing that didn’t go as I wanted. Celina became so focused on what she did not have that she could not even fully enjoy what she did have. Do you want to know what she did have? BJ and Celina were the top pie sellers in the whole school, and won a $50 gift card to Toys R’ Us!!! She could buy 100 finger puppets with $50!

Are you so focused right now on the thing or things that are not working, that you are missing out on the big prize? It is easy to do this in marriage, parenting, business, health, etc. My challenge to myself and to you today is to gain a little perspective. Step back from your situation and look for the blessings you are missing. You may be surprised at what you find.

Be Extraordinary!

photo 1-1 photo 4-1 photo 3-1

%d bloggers like this: