She Takes the Road Less Traveled By

Lily was concerned she’d get a bad grade on her writing assignment because, as she put it, “I didn’t do it the same way as everybody else”.

A couple years ago, she turned in a social studies project that was radically different from the other kids’, and rather than praise her creativity, her teacher knocked off a few points for not following rules.

I’m glad she is the sort of kid who can put perspective to a sucker punch.

She turned in her “different” take on the latest assignment, and this year’s teacher praised it as being “a very creative way of writing the story.” Exclamation point. Smiley face.

Lily was excited for me to read her story about the Underground Railroad, which she told from three different characters traveling via a time machine. While I was impressed with her choice of narrative technique, I was truly moved by her willingness to go with it regardless of what kind of grade she might get.

I love this line, from the perspective of someone helping the escaping slaves: “I had never felt genuinely risky. Twists and turns, I loved this feeling. Adrenaline was pumping through my veins. I felt fearless. I wouldn’t get caught. I just knew I wouldn’t.”

That’s my girl.

I asked her to help me write about bravery.

Here is our “Six Things To Do Even If They Scare You” list.

Me: How about India?

Lily: Yes, go to the Taj Mahal. We never gave up, even when horrible-ness struck us.

Me: What else?

Lily: Standing up to a bully.

Me: What kind of bully?

Lily: Like a bully who is bullying somebody else, not you.

Me: How about dressing up like a hamster for your fifth-grade talent show? (This was me, not her.)

Lily: Hm. That’s pretty scary, but you got a good story to tell.

Lily: Sometimes going to college is scary.

Me: How do you know?

Lily: I don’t know. Was it scary for you to go to college?

Me: Yes. I remember crying to my mom at a college fair. But then I remember not wanting college to end. So there’s that.

Me: I think it would be scary but worth it to start a business.

Lily: Yeah. It would be scary because you wouldn’t know if it work, if you would have a ton of bills, debt. But if it does work out, you’ve got something to call your own. Haven’t you always wanted to go up to somebody and say, ‘I started that. I did that!’

Me: Yes.

Lily: It would be scary but worth it to have a baby.

Me: Yes, my girl, yes it would be.


8 thoughts on “She Takes the Road Less Traveled By

  1. Except – the part about the earlier teacher taking points off for “not following directions” brings to mind the English teacher who once told you that you didn'[t belong in an honors English class because (I believe) you were asking questions about a play that she couldn’t answer. 🙂

  2. “I wouldn’t get caught. I just knew I wouldn’t.”- Story of my life Lily. Loved getting to hang out with you and your mom last Wednesday. You really are a kind and brave spirit.

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