When graduation time rolls around, I usually am not that emotional…until this year. One of our all time favorite babysitters is graduating from high school and I couldn’t be more proud of her if she really was my own child.
She has shown our entire family what it is like to persevere. I maybe pushed her harder than I should have a time or two….or all the time, but I think she liked it. I pushed her to places her parents never dreamed she would go when she was born at 16 weeks early. While I really see that I did nothing extraordinary, they say I showed her parts of 4-H, FFA and agriculture that she didn’t know existed.
I have watched her go from a shy little girl who gave a talk to my mom (an amazing public speaking judge) while shaking, jeans stuffed in one boot and over the top of the other and barely audible to an amazing public speaker who has placed in district speech contests. That shy little girl also became a District FFA officer. That is something not very many FFA members do in our area…only the special born leaders. And she is definitely one.
The summers she has spent at our house have been educational for both her and my boys. There are days that I think she learned more and others they learned more. They all certainly learned from one another. They all have pushed one another to excel in projects that they didn’t really want to do.
I insisted she learn how to cook. The boys have supervised her and given her lectures on using the correct measuring cups…more than once.
She has learned more about geology than she probably ever wanted to know, but helped me teach the boys how to start and complete a project with a little supervision and A LOT of coaching.
A few weeks ago she posted this picture on my Facebook page after winning a scholarship that I helped her get in on time. (That is a whole story in itself.)
“As the end of my senior year is fast approaching and the stressful days all blurr together I sometimes forget to say thank to all of the ever so patient individuals who help me accomplish my goals. This woman has been my role model for countless years and an outstanding second mother. Oh and I'm kind of her biggest fan since she is famous and all! Thank you and I love you!”
First of all, I do not know what she means that I am famous. SHE has taught me to be a more patient mother to my own children. There is never a need to thank those that help you along the way. The only thanks we need is for you to be a better role model and patient person to the next great one behind you that just needs a little bit of encouragement, a little bit of pushing, a whole lot of support and most importantly a smile on days that don’t go their way.
Jerica, I think I can speak for your parents and The Farmer and I (your self proclaimed second parents) that we are so proud of you. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish and all the places you will go in life. The fact that you don’t let your physical disabilities (Cerebral palsey) get in the way of what you want in life amazes all of us Every. Single. Day. Agriculture as an industry is so lucky to have gotten you to fall in love with it. You already have done great things as a spokesperson and we know you will do so much more.
Congratulations on graduating from high school!
Good Luck running for State FFA Office in a few weeks!
Don’t forget to come visit us when you are home from college!
Don’t ever let anything get in the way
of your dreams. We love you and will
always be here for you when you want us, but we know you don’t need us as much as we would like you to.
And to those of you reading this, don't ever let someone tell you that you can't do something. I haven't known Jerica her entire life, but just being able to walk was a struggle that some doctors weren't sure she would overcome. She pushed and her parents pushed and now she walks, she runs and she shows sheep and cattle. She has inspired me and so many around her.
-A Kansas Farm Mom