How to Raise a Valedictorian
Release her from school for
antiwar protests and call it
Ban video games
Tell her God gave her beautiful,
but smart takes work
© Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Trifecta’s Weekend Challenge was 33 words of advice. This worked for my daughter Riley, who is currently a top student at Laguna Beach Institute of Art and Design. Did I mention she doodled in the margins of her homework? That she came out to the entire student body’s parents during her speech? (She was already out, “gender queer,” to all her friends, and didn’t lose one of them.) Can you tell you much Lex and I love this young woman?
The picture was taken by Lex as we were being goofy after the ceremony. Silver becomes her, but her heart? Pure gold. Peace, Amy
April 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm
Lovely photo and great entry 🙂
April 5, 2013 at 11:34 pm
It’s clear you and your daughter have a special bond. And while I may not agree with the video game part (proud, honor student gamer here) I definitely agree your parenting plan worked like a charm (:
Sharp Little Pencil
April 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm
Jury’s out on the video games, agreed, on a lot of fronts. But Riley also had a tendency to stay with one task for hours, and she would never have stopped playing! (Turns out she has Asperger’s, like Gretchen)
April 5, 2013 at 11:46 pm
Looks like it worked for you! We don’t have a gaming system, but my sons did save up for iPods…when school work, reading, and chores are done, they play…when their work doesn’t get done, they pay.
April 6, 2013 at 12:27 am
Yay for Riley, her mum, her mums unconditional and supportive love and her post.
Here is mine http://ramblingsfromamum.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/my-words-shall-never-run-dry/
April 6, 2013 at 12:58 am
Reads like a recipe ~ I love it 🙂
April 6, 2013 at 5:34 am
What two lovely ladies.
My Taylor aka Tay is finishing her junior year of high sschool. She’s in the top 25 ofa class of about 400 with a 3.8 GPA (yes I’m an obnoxious bragging dumb dad). Her guidance counselor recently told us she can go to any school in our state (Georgia) and many other ones outside of it. We talk/study.help and encourage her every day whether she likes it or not. I tell her she’s beautiful and brilliant at least 10 times a day.
looks like we have incredible girls, Amy. This is why we’re friends.
April 6, 2013 at 6:00 am
Cute! Can’t see the “smart” in the photo, however. Just see “wonderfully insane” — something unconditional love certainly nourishes! Well done, Mom.
Damn thing about numbers, not everyone can be up near the top.
Like you, I try to give enough love for my daughter to know that she doesn’t ever have to be at the top of anything.
April 6, 2013 at 6:17 am
It is wonderful to read this poem of such obvious love and appreciation of your daughter, Amy. I love the pic!
April 6, 2013 at 7:52 am
Excellent advice. This one should win! With Napo and visitors, I haven’t done Trifecta this week.
April 6, 2013 at 7:58 am
Congrats to you and your daughter♫♪
April 6, 2013 at 8:01 am
congraths — love your poem and the outcome
April 6, 2013 at 9:03 am
I know you are proud. What an accomplishment for your daughter and you. I agree about the video games. I had a student that had chronic fatigue. He played video games a lot. I always felt if they banned those games, they might cure his fatigue.
April 6, 2013 at 10:16 am
Love, love, love this! Awesome words of advice, awesome approach to parenting. And congratulations to both of you — what a great picture!
April 6, 2013 at 10:16 am
I can feel your love and pride through your words!
April 6, 2013 at 10:54 am
This is so inspirational and beautiful =)
April 6, 2013 at 10:56 am
Very sage advice. And it obviously worked well–you’ve got an incredible daughter there!
April 6, 2013 at 11:56 am
“Release her from school for
antiwar protests and call it
Awesome parenting advice there! Kudos to you for doing it…
April 6, 2013 at 1:44 pm
Excellent advice, Amy, especially that last bit! [And much congratulations to Riley!]
April 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm
Hey, that is a proud mama!
Josie Two Shoes
April 6, 2013 at 2:43 pm
How to be as proud a mom as you have every right to be! It looks like your daughter is turning out to be every bit the amazing woman her mother is, but defining amazing in her own way, which I know is exactly what you want for her! It is going to be fun to watch the things she does with her life. Congrats to you, Mom for a job well done, and congrats to Riley for having the courage to be who she is and to do it well!
April 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm
This made me smile the whole way through! Awesome picture!
I HAVE A VOICE
April 6, 2013 at 9:02 pm
April 6, 2013 at 10:00 pm
Oh, I love this!
April 6, 2013 at 10:57 pm
Love, LOVE, Amy. You rock. As a writer, and especially as a Mama.
April 7, 2013 at 12:12 pm
This should be included in every parent’s manual.
April 7, 2013 at 12:14 pm
need lots more valedictorians with independent minds of their own – that’s what eduction is for ain’t it??
April 7, 2013 at 1:27 pm
Amy-your daughter is pure gold! This is so inspiring! I can think of another title for your piece as well-:How to be one hell of a good mother!
Signed, another very proud mom:)
And p.s. I love the photo!
April 7, 2013 at 4:11 pm
This sounds just about perfect if you can keep it going. I enjoyed this writing too.
April 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm
straight from the heart of a mom. Beautiful, Amy
April 7, 2013 at 7:25 pm
My guess is that you and your daughter rock each other’s worlds. Nicely done, Amy, both the writing and the raising.
April 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm
Pretty awesome Amy! Both you and Riley. 🙂 Congratulations–love the phrase God gave you beautiful, but smart takes work ❤
April 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm
What better advice could she ask for? She is lucky to have you.