Character (f'in) counts

Everyone is full of contradictions. Our daughters, however, as they do with all things, take it to another level.

I used to write often about their issues related to adoption, but I don’t much anymore because I no longer write columns for a newspaper, they’re getting older and I don’t want to hijack their stories and, honestly? I’m exhausted. Just know this: They’re both very close to the school counselor. AS ARE WE.

So. Their school has a program where they recognize a student in each grade monthly for having high character. Our girls have never won this award. This is not a surprise! When she was in third grade our oldest wrote “poop” on another student’s pencil case … during CCD, for absolutely no reason other than boredom. Our youngest has had her seat moved like 17 times this year alone for being a distraction.

However, they do have their moments, and we’re not ashamed to admit that we’ve utilized our relationship with the school counselor to lobby for them. Maybe if the school could find the smallest reason to acknowledge them, just once, for something good, it would improve their self-esteem and motivate them to do more good things. WHO KNOWS, RIGHT???

Having conversations like that make the phone calls from school all the more embarrassing. On Tuesday, my wife received such a phone call from the assistant principal. Apparently, the girls—our daughters, only them—were fighting on the bus, and our oldest allegedly kicked our youngest in the head (although witnesses—yes, witnesses were called in—dispute this), and our youngest, NOT allegedly but definitely, dropped the f bomb.

(The AP didn’t confirm the actual phrase but I am 100 percent certain it started with "f***" and ended in “head.” It’s her go-to phrase of profane frustration. Also ironic considering where she was allegedly kicked. I should mention that this is obviously absolutely unacceptable and I’d be here all day if I detailed the conversations and consequences and punishments that have resulted from this language. But it doesn’t matter! Let’s move on, I’m getting upset.)

They both earned lunch detention for this. Good. Great. Fine. Another shining moment.

Students in lunch detention have to sit in a certain area of the cafeteria, so you can imagine the school counselor's surprise when she entered the cafeteria to find and recognize the monthly character award winners. Somehow, our lobbying had worked, or possibly the girls had good timing on a rare good deed. (But honestly, both of them? C’mon.) Regardless, this is the story of how our daughters became the first students in school history to win awards for character while serving lunch detention.

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