Equal Time for Ashley

First, to some of my new blog-readers via heartlight, WELCOME! If you're still reading that means you extended a little bit of grace to me from reading some of my more careless remarks and biting humor. To my 3 faithful blog readers, I'm sure you are thinking, "Doesn't Sarah have 2 children? Is she always this one-sided in her bragging?" To explain Ashley and why she gets so little press I have to tell one last Riley story. Two or three weeks into his kindergarten year we were all talking at dinner about our day. We were taking turns telling what was the best part of our day. Riley's best part of his day was that he only had to move his clip (disciplinary action) one time all day. I was incredulous, "You have moved your clip more than once every day until now?!?!?!???" Very proudly, he responded, "Yep, and only ONCE today!" Ashley was pretty incredulous, as well. Since Riley was 2 or 3 weeks into kindergarten, Ashley was 2 or 3 weeks into 2nd grade. In those 75 weeks she had been going to school she had moved her clip exactly once in first grade, she maintains her innocence in that infraction to this day, and it was the biggest trauma of her life. Kids like Ashley are a joy to raise, but don't create nearly as much writing material as the Rileys of the world.

Ashley is so many things that I'm not and so many things that I admire. One is a leader. When she was in pre-school Troy and I called her the Pied Piper. You would see a string of kids of all ages at church marching hither and yon and following the orders of a tiny little Goldilocks. That was Ashley. Now she doesn't mean to be a leader, but she sure-shootin' isn't going to be a follower. I wasn't like that at all at her age. I would have eaten any amount of Fear Factor food in the hopes that you would like me for no guaranteed amount of time. Very pathetic, isn't it? Ashley is very sure of herself. Clothes are NOT a big deal to her (again -- very unlike me). She wears what she likes -- and I haven't quite figured out what constitutes what she likes. I think her clothes are sentimental to her. She likes the t-shirt from the basketball camp she went to two summers ago, never mind that it's almost too small and has a chocolate milk stain on the front and a ketchup stain on the back (I don't want to know how). Troy and I have marveled at all of the precious little "girly-girls" (as Ashley refers to them) that think of Ashley as their big buddy. We notice that they must be able to overlook the whole clothing situation.

Ashley is a great audience to Riley because I think that laughing is simply one of her favorite things to do. And since laughter is "music to Riley's ears" they make a pretty good team. She also has the most tender heart. She loves people of all ages and stages and, like her mom and nonna, can't allow anyone to cry alone. She generally has to join right in.

My favorite Ashley story that sums up her heart is from shortly before she started kindergarten. Troy and I have very prayerfully and carefully chosen to educate our children in public schools. As the beginning of kindergarten was approaching I thought I should prepare Ashley for some of what she may encounter in school. We have always taught our children that God loves everyone and wants us all to follow Him, but He loves us so much He gives us a choice and some people don't choose to follow God. I told Ashley that some of the children in her class may never have gone to church or their mommies and daddies don't choose to follow God so there may be children in her class that didn't know God. Her eyes lit up with the perfect solution, "Well, then I will gather them all around me and tell them." Case closed. And while I'm not sure whether there has ever been a formal lecture involving The Almighty to any of her classes, I know that they see Him in her actions. I have a lot to learn from that girl.


Tammy M. said...

Ashley has made each one of my children feel special on more than one occassion. I love her for that, she is an awesome child of God.

Anonymous said...

I was amazed at the way she played with Abbie(3) this summer. She liked her and wanted to be her teacher/mommy. She's a great friend for her and doesn't hesitate to take Abbie anywhere (ferris wheel that I didn't want to go on.) LOVE her!

Roxanne said...

I am gonna have to stop reading your blog in the morning! I am sitting here all teary eyed and my 6th graders are reading. . .you know MY favorite Ashley story. . .corn on the floor. And her being so concerned the time we all went to the beach because Thad couldn't go. And since I cried over her precious head on the first Sunday she ever went to church, I know how priceless she is to you. I only wish I got to be with her more. I DO find it hilarious that she is such a tom-boy. WHERE did that come from? I remember a time when you were aghast that her favorite color was pink! :)

We too have far more Thad stories than we do Victoria ones. (She got ONE bear taken away in Kindergarten and couldn't eat for the rest of the day.) But this morning as I was brushing her hair, (she IS a girly-girl--but she likes to climb trees and play with hermit crabs on the beach), I was completely overcome by how much I love her. You would think after 7 years of having her on this planet, that sensation would no longer surprise me. And I know that my love for her pales in comparison to God's love for her--an awesome, overwhelming, incomprehensible thought.


dad said...

I finally found something in your writing with which I disagree. You most definitely WERE a leader, even from a very young age. So many of your classmates looked up to you. You were your very own person from an early age, and weren't much on following trends. I've always admired you for that.

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