To the high schoolers about to meet my daughter

29 Aug

Hello Classes of 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021! You all have two things in common!

  1. You’ll all be in the same high school.
  2. You will be going to school with my daughter Maura.

Yeah, consider yourself #blessed right now.

So you’re going to be in school with my daughter. Congratulations! Here’s what you’ll need to know…

Maura is going to be one of those newbie freshman scurrying about the halls. Except Maura doesn’t scurry, she booyahs her way into every room.


Yes, you’ll notice her. You’ll notice this girl with fabulous hair and a sense of confidence that you’ll probably envy.

It’s okay, you can learn from her.

You can learn that it’s okay to be yourself, to be confident in who you are, to wear those clothes that make you feel fabulous, and to laugh loudly because it feels good to laugh.

You will watch her with some envy because of the way she enjoys life – but you know, you can too. My daughter doesn’t give a crap about what other people think. You can learn that from her as well.

You may be hesitant to do something weird or silly, because, you know, High Schooler. But then you see my daughter being silly because silly is fun, and fun is awesome and maybe you’ll stop being so self-conscious and do that goofy thing that makes you laugh.

You will definitely see her dance. Because dancing is fun. They say you should dance like no one is watching. No, be like Maura – dance because you want to and who cares if anyone is watching? Maybe they’ll join in. And in doing so, they’ll be another joining in, and then you’re six degrees from a flash mob and flash mobs are awesome.

And now, you’re watching my daughter with a bit of awe. That’s okay, I do the same. I’m in awe of her spirit, her ability to live life to the fullest. To love freely, unabashedly. To enjoy being yourself. It’s something to aspire to.

And while you’re watching Maura, you may notice her sister as well. Because she’ll be the second person in that potential flash mob. You’ll see her sister treat her…well…like a sister. She’ll treat her normally.

Because that’s all you have to do with Maura. Treat her like you would any classmate.

Oh, did I mention that Maura has cognitive disabilities? Yeah, there are those as well, but they’re not what make her stand out. Heck, her moaning and groaning over doing school work could make her blend in with the rest of you lot.

But here’s the thing – yes, she’s fabulous and confident and all – but she is also okay with you being fabulous and confident and all too.

So good luck, incoming freshman and all the upperclassmen who have to deal with them. May this year be full of awesome.

And to the high school teachers and admins – I’m still rooting that you get a margarita machine in the staff room. Because dang.



8 Responses to “To the high schoolers about to meet my daughter”

  1. Saracvt August 29, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

    Talking about dancing–I’m glad Maura dances–about, oh, 15 years ago, I went to a Shawn Mullins concert. He was, and is, one of my favorite singers. About 2 or 3 songs in, he invited us to get up and dance. I almost instantly did so, but I was the only one. Ah, well, I thought, others will soon follow me.

    Nobody did. I was the ONLY one dancing for the entire concert.

    At first, I stayed up there, expecting that other people would come. When it became clear nobody would, I stayed up there out of sheer embarrassment. I remember being one giant ball of red-hot blush; if you’d set a match to me then, I probably would’ve exploded. But gradually, it began to fade until I was just enjoying myself, dancing because I wanted to. After the concert, Shawn sought me out and told me how much he appreciated my dancing to his music.

    The thing is, while I remember the embarrassment, I also remember the sheer joy and triumph I felt. I’m 3000% glad I did it. It remains one of my favorite memories to this day. So go do that thing you’re afraid to do because people will laugh at you but really want to. I bet you’ll be glad you did.

    I knew there was a reason I call her “the Divine Miss M”!

  2. Saracvt August 29, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    Not the song I was dancing to, but one of my favorites from Shawn Mullins.

  3. Saracvt August 29, 2017 at 12:58 pm #

    Let’s try this again. One of my favorites from Shawn Mullins.

  4. Saracvt August 29, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    Okay, for some reason, I can’t get my video to post. Go to YouTube and look up “Shawn Mullins Beautiful Wreck”. You’ll be glad you did.

  5. Widdershins August 29, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

    Margarita machine – yes!!! 😀

  6. Angel of Anthropology August 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

    God I wish I could have been more like Maura when I was in High School. It probably would have been just that much better. Also, it would have been awesome to have someone like her at the school.
    Watch out high school!

  7. Heather Roberts August 30, 2017 at 1:26 pm #

    Awesome- on so many levels.

  8. Laurie Ann Thompson August 30, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

    This brought tears to my eyes, in all the best ways. ❤

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