Saturday, March 1, 2014

My daughter cheated on a test.... and I couldn't be more proud!

I know what you're thinking? and when I say it out loud it does sound ludicrous. But its the truth.

Our Abby is the brightest girl. She naturally excels at what she does with very little effort. But math is her stumbling block. Every Tuesday she shuffles into school with the doom of the weekly math quiz. Every Tuesday she gets in the car and immediately announces whether she passed or not. No matter the outcome, we exchange high fives and make our way home. This Tuesday was no different. She announced that she passed! In my book, this called for a double high five because x6s are difficult for me and I love to live vicariously through my kids! When we got home the schedule stayed right on point. Some sibling screaming, fighting, clearing out the cupboards and inhaling as many snacks as could be located. Followed by dinner, dishes, bathes, hair brushing, teeth brushing, next day clothing selection.....then cuddle time. While I was sitting on the couch next to Abby she brought up her math quiz again. "Mom, I passed my x 6 quiz." "I know sweetie! I am so proud of you." Abby responded, "Yeah, I knew I would have trouble with a few of them, so I looked at my math chart and wrote them down on the top of my paper, and before I turned in the test I erased them so Mrs. Z didn't see them."

Dear. Lord. Breathe in, breathe out. Stephanie? What are you going to say? How are you going to respond? I wanted to run. I wanted to shuffle her off to bed and pretend I didn't hear it. But there she was, yearning to spill the beans, desiring to cleanse her heart. She was listening to the God's tiny whisper telling her something just wasn't right. Don't leave her hanging. "Hmm, how do you feel about that?"

"Not really good at all mom".

Abby is very prideful. She doesn't like to admit that anything she does is wrong. And here she is admitting she cheated on a test. She could have chosen to move on. To not say a word. Nobody would have known. She wasn't caught. She simply knew what she did was wrong and she had to make it right. We made a plan. Together we would work to rectify the situation. Through tears of embarrassment, guilt, and disappointment we decided together she needed to tell her teacher. We were able to talk about how proud I was she came to me to tell me the TRUTH. How I understood why she might feel cheating would help her get ahead, but how it really only puts you so far behind. How I have never been so proud of her in her 8 years on earth. Through our tears, we prayed together. Asking God for forgiveness, asking God for strength and courage to talk to her teacher and tell her the TRUTH. Taking time to understand that we were born into this sinful word and that nobody on earth is perfect.

Because you see, we all fall short, we all sin, nobody but Jesus Christ is sinless. The reality is we were born in a sinful world. If it wasn't for Gods grace and mercy, where would we be? I shutter to think of the outcome. The difference between this 8 year old girl and so many in this world is that she is acutely aware that her truth, honesty and character matter. They matter to her, they matter to us, they matter to God.

She met with her teacher yesterday morning and told her what had happened. She told her that she had cheated on her test and she knew it was not right. She told her teacher that she would like to retake the test the right way. I am so thankful for the teachers at New Groningen. Each one of my kids teachers understands that education is important, but more importantly is the character building of children. In an email from her teacher after their talk-- "It sounds like Abby's snow day was tainted with the misery of guilt and that she has learned a huge life lesson. Thank you for how you respectfully handled this with me and Abby. You took the "high road". Not all parents support a teacher in such a way. Some choose to defend or make excuses for a child's wrong choice. I am so proud of Abby. That was a huge undertaking."

So after a weekend of hard work, heavy math fact preparation, she will retake the test. She may pass. She may not. Either way, she will get a high five, a kiss and a hug, and we will celebrate her.

Love you Abbers!