Saturday, August 6, 2005


I slept in a bit this morning, and that means that for the kids who'd been up a good while already, the day had already begun in earnest and I should be willing and able to immediately face it head-on. If only my physiology worked that way! It doesn't, so when my oldest daughter offered me a sheet of paper with text typed on it as I was pouring my coffee, it went by only vaguely noticed. After a while I realized it was a memo from one of her teachers. The heading said
"In a Million Words or Less. . .
Tell me about your child!"

Let me tell you something, I get hundreds of memos from teachers every year, I have 4 kids in school (well, 3 this year) and the amount of paper that arrives on my desk is enough to constitute the Brazilian Rain Forest. I don't mind the paperwork - except possibly on an ecological level. What bothers me is that it's usually mindless nonsense, poorly written, rife with spelling errors and written on a level that any second grader could comprehend, and I usually read them while shaking my head in disgust and wondering where these people got their degrees that they're qualified to instruct my children, but can't construct a decent sentence, differentiate between your and you're, or bother with a spellcheck button.

This gleaming example of Xerox work, however, absolutely made my day! No glaring errors, an obvious sense of humor ("Take as much time as you need, until the deadline of course!) and showed a genuine interest not only in my child, but in gleaning the subconscious unspoken nuances about her, myself, our family, and our relationship.

Now this is my kind of teacher! As far as I can tell, and I've dealt with this particular school and the teachers there for years now, this is possibly the most intelligent and beneficial thing any of them have ever had the forethought to do. Besides, I love to write, I love to brag on my kids... What's not to love about this, my first homework assignment of the year!? Yes, I'm a nerd, OK!?

Now because I'm a dork, I'm sharing my essay with all of you, my adoring fans, who by way of reading my blog/poetry/musings have proven that obviously, you want to know all about my favorite oldest daughter! ;) Enjoy:

A Million Words or Less
about Kassi XxxackxxX

Kassi was our first-born daughter, born third in a long line of children. She has four siblings: two older brothers, a younger brother and a younger sister, plus another one on the way. She's more than willing to tell you all about the sister who never came home from the hospital too, if you ask. Actually, she's overjoyed anytime the reason to talk arises. A Million Words or Less would probably have been a good title for the first day she spent in class with you! Unfortunately, there's no reason to look far when wondering where that comes from, she gets her gift of gab naturally from her mother. She's an extrovert if ever there was one, and though she may be a bit giggly and shy when she first meets you, have no doubt that it won't last more than the first five minutes. *

She isn't the oldest child but she was the first of our children to have been "planned." She was named long before she was conceived. Kassandra Cheyenne the title waited around, like a pretty new dress in the closet, for about a year before Kassandra Cheyenne the child was born to fill it, and it fits her well. Kassandra is a Greek name, which means "truthful" which is appropriate for her. Her middle name, Cheyenne, however, is Native American for "city" and we haven't figured out how that name applies to her yet. We hope it doesn't have any bearing on how many grandchildren she'll provide us.

You'll find her to be cheerful, always smiling, and hoping for an excuse for it. Ask her what she's smiling about and she'll only smile more and tell you she doesn't know. To describe her as helpful would be an understatement. She's not only willing to help when asked, but is usually looking for ways to be helpful, and will gladly offer her time and energy to do anything you need or want done.

Some days you'll find her in a dress begging to have her hair done for no reason, begging to go shoe shopping, or oohing and aahing over the clothing section in the Sunday sale papers - but growing up with three brothers has made her just as content to tromp through the woods in a pair of ripped jeans chasing her brothers, or propped high in a tree hiding from them. Wherever you find her, she's almost assuredly going to be listening to music (Destiny's Child or B5 most likely) and singing along, but will blush, cover her face, and laugh hysterically if you catch her dancing. She also enjoys reading, reads well, gets excellent grades, and has many friends. She loves to draw, and has a real love for paper of any kind, markers, and colored pencils.

She was born on August 15th, and is the epitome of the Leo. She wants to lead the way, be in charge, and has the brains and attitude for it. She also has the temper for it, and isn't the slightest bit afraid to let you know she's upset with you. She wants the best, expects it - from both herself and the people she surrounds herself with. She doesn't like being lied to, gossiped about, or made fun of. With that in mind, she's generally hardworking, honest, kind and trustworthy. She wants to be popular, she wants to be perfect, and is frustrated when she can't be. She likes to be silly, she likes to flirt, she likes to "mother" her little sister. She hates cleaning her room, doing the dishes, and being told what to do. She likes English, Art and doing projects. She does her homework as soon as she gets off the bus, has a smart-alec sense of humor, loves her glasses, her braces, her family, animals, people and school. She does have a temper, and sometimes forgets when to stop talking, but she's a wonderful little girl.

No, she's a wonderful young lady, one who promises to be a beautiful human being and an amazing woman. We're very proud of her and all that she does, and will do in life, because we know that whatever she chooses to do, she'll do it well.

*edited, dag nab it!


  1. Oh Erin! What a beautiful little girl you have! And what a great teacher she has, to be so interested in her students! Sounds like this year is going to go well for her.

    I hope that someday I'll get to write something as meaningful for Jonas.

    I think you should keep this memo, hold onto it, and maybe give it to her upon graduation or something. It just seems to paint such a perfect picture of her!

  2. you know, it really eats me alive to know I proofread this 20 times, mailed it, posted it here, and just now founf that ridiculously obvious screw up in the end of paragraph one.

    Anyone know how to un-send email, or edit email while it sits in someone else's inbox?

    Damnit. :|

  3. lol Ang, in 9 years I'll email you the memo I got and you can write yours then ;)

    Hopefully without screwing it up like I did!

    lol, I'm so embarrassed that she's going to see that (maybe she won't notice, she's Kassi's homeroom and MATH teacher...?)

  4. Oh Erin! What a beautiful little girl you have! And what a great teacher she has, to be so interested in her students! Sounds like this year is going to go well for her.

    I hope that someday I'll get to write something as meaningful for Jonas.

    I think you should keep this memo, hold onto it, and maybe give it to her upon graduation or something. It just seems to paint such a perfect picture of her!

  5. Know what else is cool? Her last name that I didn't want to broadcast here, means "light" So her name literally translates to truthful (city of) light. Of course, Scotty's always thought his name meant "The Best" which is what I thought when I named her - also appropriate I think :)

  6. Erin, I wouldn't worry about an error. It is totally obvious that you care about and know your daughter. It is totally obvious that you are proud of her and love her. It is also obvious that you take an interest in what's going on with her. One typo doesn't detract from any of that. The teacher will see that. The teacher will appreciate that. You've done a marvelous job and your daughter should be proud of her mom, typo included.

  7. That's really awesome, E. I wish my mom had the talent and opportunity to write something like that about me when I was a kid. She's a lucky kid. :o)

  8. V~
    I am so totally embarrassed by that stupid typo! I'll never just "not worry about it" It makes me feel like a TWIT! I'm sure I'll live though.

    I dunno about lucky, but she's a GREAT kid, and she's the exact reason I hope this baby is a girl!

  9. Hey - makes ME want to meet and teach your little lady! Great job summing such a complex little person up so well! Kudos!

  10. And how long does it take you to supress the urge to correct the papers from schoolteachers who cannot write English? I find it incredibly difficult when I see them. A friend of mine had one from her son's second-grade teacher and it honestly looked like a student had written it -- tons of errors and very, very poor handwriting.

  11. lol Mandie, she's one of very few children that I'd have the patience to have in my class if I were a teacher. Teachers always love her - she's just, well, easy to like.

    The urge to correct the things I get from school/teachers is an ongoing one. Last year my son brought home a spelling list (2nd grade also) that had misspelled words!

    I thought maybe it was just me, I'm a fanatic about stuff like that, I'm glad it isn't just me that sees this stuff.

  12. Anonymous8:13 AM

    A lady teacher I know was asked to proofread and make corrections on a letter her elementary school principal was going to send to someone. She made the mistake of actually doing so. Caught hell for it. Is there a lesson here?