Dear Superintendent, Principal, teachers, parents, girls and maybe even the mayor,
When my daughter began high school I was not worried about late night parties or dating or even her grades. I was worried about her being accepted for who she is. I was worried that, in a sea of students who didn’t know her, she might be bullied or alone at the lunch table or lost in a busy hallway. We have known for a while that college would not be in her future so have worked towards goals like independence and confidence and happiness instead.
Tuesday night was Senior Night for the girls varsity soccer team Ashlyn has been helping with during her high school years. Ashlyn will be moving on to a post-high program next year and the team included her in the evening just as they did the other seniors. I had to squint a little and then blink back tears as I saw the warm up jerseys the girls were wearing, homemade shirts honoring their seniors, Ashlyn’s Special Olympics jersey number painted on the back.
I know to these girls this was a small gesture, but to us it was so much more. They could have easily only honored the players but they chose to include my daughter as well. Their actions told her that being a part of the team is so much more than playing on the field. When her name was called the cheers were loud and my child who turns from loud noise, smiled wide and ran through their tunnel with pride.
Teenage girls often get a bad rap for their tendency towards cliques and attitudes and pushing the dress code limits but this team has shown nothing but integrity and understanding. I’m not sure they will ever know how far their acts of kindness will carry my daughter. Her memories of high school will not be of the noisy halls or the days her anxiety took over, but of the soccer team that gave what I have wanted for her since the day she received an autism diagnosis…
With more gratitude than I could ever express,
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I have no words.
Just so much love for those girls.
Kathy at kissing the frog says
This warms my heart! 🙂
Once again you have me in happy tears. I love this & look forward to reading about her post high school adventures.
I am so happy that she found such an amazing group of girls!
I truly believe in the promise of our youth! How wonderful for you and Ashlyn. Shows not only how special the girls are, but how special your daughter is.
Alexa (Kat) says
OK seriously lady this one made me sob! In happiness. That is so sweet. My faith is a tiny bit restored in humanity!
julie gardner says
Oh my, yes.
This is wonderful – beyond words – and yet you wrote them out anyway.
And also this:
Ashlyn has given those girls a gift, as well.
So here’s to everyone learning from this most beautiful lesson in kindness.
I couldn’t wait to write it down, I sort of wanted to shout it from everywhere. They just have no idea how much their small acts have meant to us.
What a special time for your daughter! She must of been so happy. I’m sure it was hard for you not to bawl your eyes out. I know I would. It’s so nice to hear these stories after so much “bully” talk the past few years.
Thank goodness for sunglasses, I hid the whole evening. 🙂
This is just so beautiful. I am so happy for your daughter, for you, for those girls. We often hear about the meanness of girls. How inspirational to hear another story – of girls being kind. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s so wonderfully hopeful.
I was so happy to have something positive to write about girls that age. We hear so much about bullying and “mean girls” but I haven’t seen any of it with this team. They’ve been amazing.
Jessica Smock says
Oh, I just love hearing about when kids — especially teen girls — are kind to each other. We need to promote more stories like this: of kids who show compassion and goodness.
Couldn’t agree more, it’s nice to be suprised by positivity.
Ninja Mom says
I’m a slobbering mess. Good thing I don’t have any make-up on.
What a lovely group of girls. And Ashlyn must have been over-the-moon to be recognized like that. Makes me have hope for the world.
I was just in awe, I sat there in the bleachers wanting to just soak it all up. What a great way to end our school year.
I’m so glad that those girls showed how compassionate, thoughtful, and inclusive teenage girls can be, and I’m so glad you got to witness that for your daughter. She is a special girl and deserved just as much recognition as they got!
I always hoped they would include her in things but assumed I would have to ask. I haven’t had to ask once, they just seem to know the right thing to do, we have been so lucky.
It’s such a beautiful thing when teenage girls surprise us. What a heartwarming story, Jessica. I’m so proud of your daughter’s team for showing such maturity. That’s awesome!!
That’s how it should be, but unfortunately not always reality. You are so blessed in so many ways – and so is Ashlyn! =)
Rach (DonutsMama) says
Beautiful. I have no words for their kindness. I would’ve been a puddle on the floor.
Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says
What a beautiful story!! I have recently heard so many stories about middle & high school girls behaving terribly, it is wonderfully refreshing to hear a story like this one. Thanks for sharing!
Sybil @ Peace it all Together says
That is amazing! That type of acceptance is not seen everyday. What a blessing for you and your daughter!!
Wow, I am crying! That is so great that she was accepted. That is all we want as parents and she was accepted. I always fear the mean girls for my daughter – here’s to hoping she has such a positive experience as Ashlyn.
This is so fantastic. I am so happy to hear when people love one another and don’t fall into the mean girl category. I would wager those girls have learned some valuable lessons about life.
Lady Jennie says
Oh yes! Their is compassion in the world.
I know there is, but I so love to see it!
Just perfectly beautiful. They could not possibly know how far reaching that act of kindness would go. It extends even beyond your family to families like mine who are nearer the beginning of the school years with all the fears and concerns that are found there. This gives me such hope. Thank you for sharing, thank you to the girls for being a great example, and thank you to their parents who have raised some classy ladies. =)
I’m so glad you read this. When I was in your shoes I felt the same way, I was so nervous about what would happen in the hours she was away from me and now here we are and she is finishing high school and I can say that she has been treated so much better than I ever imagined.
Wow – how fantastic is that soccer team!?! They sound almost as amazing as Ashlyn and her mom. xo
Thanks so much, the girls are just great and I don’t think they even realize what a big deal this is for us.
I am so glad she landed among that group of girls. Sometimes a support system and a place where you’re accepted is the biggest gift of all.
Absolutely. There have been so many things they have done for her that are too long to even list. She definitely found the right place.