Every year for the past four years my youngest daughter, Graci has submitted articles to her teacher for Pinellas County's The Cross Creek Chronicle, a book that is published each year featuring writing from children in Pinellas County Elementary Schools. For the past three years, she received a letter telling her she didn't make it, but to keep trying. The letter would also tell her how she could improve her writing. This year, in third grade, she received a letter telling her she was going to be published in the book. She came home so excited saying, "Finally mom, I made it into The Cross Creek Chronicle. My story is getting published." I was so happy for her, because I knew how hard she tried. Her stories in the past have been good, but this one, I have to say was her best entry and it was very funny.
Getting published in this book, was something Graci never gave up on. It made me think about how important it is to keep trying when we want to accomplish something. My two girls try out or enter quite a few things. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. I think it's important for them to know as they grow older and are out in the "real world" there are winners and losers. Sometimes as kids, especially these days, we see so much about everybody's a winner. No everybody's not a winner. We try to be too politically correct and make everyone a winner and that isn't fair or right. My husband and I tell our girls that winning isn't everything and what's most important to us is that they do the best they can. If they do that they should be proud of themselves. My husband has also told the girls that sometimes he has learned more from his loses than his wins and more from his mistakes from his accomplishments.
Since early on my daughters have entered photography contests, art contests, video contests, tried out for school plays, have played sports and more. Both of my girls are very competitive so they don't like to lose, but they get over it and move on. I think this builds character and self esteem. Both of my girls have good self-esteem, something my husband and I really try to instill in them. Self-esteem makes a difference in all of us. I think so many kids these days don't have self esteem and that leads to problems. Kids with low self-esteem can go down the wrong path, have a hard time with peer pressure and make bad choices.
You are probably wondering about Graci's story, so I will share part of it with you now, if you want to read the full version you can see it below. "One sunny morning, before school when I was in First grade my mom got chased by a crazy, crazy squirrel! Let me tell you the story! First, my sister and I were getting into the car. We were waiting in the car for a long time!! My mom always takes forever to get in the car. Well… it is either because my sister and I leave stuff in the house or she is brewing her coffee. Poor mom, has she ever gotten a break? Then we saw my mom come out, in a wink of an eye my mom was screaming like crazy!"
Remember the old saying, "If at first you don't succeed, Try, try, try again." It was true for Graci and it can be true for you. What would have happened if these now famous people gave up like Michael Jordan, who was cut from his high school basketball team; Thomas Edison, who made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb; Babe Ruth who had 1,330 strikeouts or Dr. Seuss who had 27 different publishers reject his first book and the list goes on. We need to remember and teach our kids to never give up.
***full version of the published story by 9-year-old Graci
Funny Times with Squirrels
One sunny morning, before school when I was in First grade my mom got chased by a crazy, crazy squirrel! Let me tell you the story! First, my sister and I were getting into the car. We were waiting in the car for a long time!! My mom always takes forever to get in the car. Well… it is either because my sister and I leave stuff in the house or she is brewing her coffee. Poor mom, has she ever gotten a break? Then we saw my mom come out, in a wink of an eye my mom was screaming like crazy! My sister and I were like, “Oh my gosh, is it a snake?” We pretty much knew it was a snake. Then we heard, “aaaaaahhhhhh” again!! We knew something was up. We waited and waited. My mom finally got back into the car and was out of breath. She said, “I am now officially afraid of squirrels.” My sister and I said, “Why are you officially afraid of squirrels? You just got chased by a snake!!” My mom said, “No, I got chased by a squirrel!!!” We went, “Ohhhhhhhhh!” Finally, we were off to school and got there in enough time before the bell rang! You probably know that squirrels always do something! They always do silly things to my family!
Another day the weird squirrels came into the garage and scared my mom, they also threw acorns at her. They must not like my mom. They always do something to her. No matter if it is chasing her, throwing acorns at her or scaring her in the garage. Like my mom says, “Those squirrels are always up to something…” Now, I see why my mom is afraid of squirrels. Don’t you? Now that is the story called Funny Times with squirrels! Have you ever had funny times with squirrels? Well I have. I recommend this story to anyone who has had crazy times with squirrels!