Yesterday was a big day for our girls. There was a trip to the dentist for C and L, and you really can’t beat a trip to the dentist.[1]

M went on a retreat with the rest of the sixth grade to visit a monastery in southern Indiana. They had to be at school at 6:30 AM and didn’t get home until around 6:00 in the evening. She was so tired when they returned that I have yet to hear how it went. That kid does not do well with being tired. I know the agenda included touring the monastery and spending time with the monks. Hopefully she’ll be in more of a mood to share details tonight.

L had a big day, too. St. P’s participates in the Leader In Me program, which is an educational off-shoot of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Yesterday there was a one-day symposium for schools in the area that participate in the LIM program, and the keynote speaker for the event was Sean Covey, son of Stephen Covey and main guy behind the LIM program.

In early November I got an email from school saying that L had been selected to introduce Covey before his speech. She was very excited! We received a little example of what kind of introduction she should give and a request that she have her speech memorized. That night she got on the computer and started looking up facts about Covey. She brought us back a page filled with info about him. We helped her organize it, printed out a bullet-pointed list, and she began working on learning it. Typical of her, she had it down in about a day. In fact, she was adding a little too much “flavor” to it at times, so we had to make sure she toned it down a little. And we kept working with her on making sure she spoke slowly and clearly.

I picked her up from school around 11:30 to head to the event. When we arrived, she was the star of the moment. The women who were working the registration table came around and introduced themselves, asked her lots of questions, and made her feel super important. They brought Covey out so they could meet and he was super nice to her, too. After she got her name tag, we went into the conference hall and several other people came over to introduce themselves to her. Worth noting a lot of these adults just gave me a nod and focused all their attentions on her. I thought that was great! M’s teacher was there and she made sure to come over and say hi, too.

We took some seats up front as a principal panel discussion was wrapping up. She looked around and asked how many people were watching. I did a quick estimate and told her probably 250. Then she asked me if I could see her lip moving. No, I said, and asked why her lip was moving. “Because all of a sudden I’m really nervous!” she said. St. P’s assistant principal, who picked L to present, came over to wish her luck. The event’s MC came over and had a quick chat with her. And then it was time for her to go on stage.

She rocked the mic pretty well. She was a little rushed, but I think spoke pretty clearly. She flubbed a couple lines, but quickly caught and corrected herself. The best part was, like most kids, she can’t just stand still and speak in front of an audience. She had jammed both hands into her pockets and was pumping each fist up and down in time with her speech. Thank goodness she’s a girl, or it might have looked a little inappropriate! I was right in front of her videoing and had to struggle to keep from laughing.

The only thing we forgot to do was coach her on what to do when she was done. She made her formal introduction, turned, and marched offstage. I should have told her to stay in front of the mic and clap until Covey made it onstage and then shake his hand before she left. Oh well, she did better than I probably would have done.

We hung around and listened to most of Covey’s speech before we had to head out to get back to school for pickup. Unfortunately because L was a little nervous before she spoke, and we left before the event ended, I didn’t get a chance to take a photo of her and Covey together. I should have grabbed one when they first met outside the hall.

So she was pretty proud of herself. We heard she was picked because of her determination and how she demonstrates so many of the seven habits in her daily behavior at school. That, and how well she did on stage, made us very proud of her, too.

  1. To be fair, our girls do love going to the dentist. I also enjoy our dentist’s office, which is filled with extremely friendly and personable dental professionals.  ↩