Sooner or later, Mom Dot gives each of her grand kids a nickname. She calls Dorothy, her own name sake, Do It Yourself Dorothy. Mary is Amazing Mary.
Tiger, the oldest, is The Perfect One--and, yes, his siblings still speak to him. (I can explain, but that is a blog for another day). And when Emma was just a preschooler, her grandmother named her Angel Emma.
Emma turns 14 today and is still living up to her nickname. She is my sixth of ten kids; my third of five girls. I would think it would be daunting to be in the middle of such a crowd. The older ones set an example, take charge, and watch out for their siblings. The younger kids entertain and soak up the attention. (I know this for a fact, being the youngest of eight.) But landing in the middle must make it difficult to figure out your role. Not so for Emma, who takes initiative with her siblings whether they need a playmate or a listening ear.
And the initiative doesn't stop at home but stays with her at school as well. For Emma, if you're on time, you're late; if you're early, you're on time. An A- is acceptable but an A+ is preferable. She runs, she sings, she writes, she cooks. And she is one of those people who always looks like a million bucks. Being the fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person that I am, it amazes me.
If there is anything complex about Emma, it is that she is reserved. "I always know what is going on with your sister, Mary," I told her recently. (Mary, just 17 months older, is like me--all out there all the time.) "But I have to keep my eye on you to be sure I know how you're really doing." She gave me smile, confirming my suspicions. Last year, I remember, even though it was her first and only year in Florida, she was voted "Best All Around" seventh grade girl. And she didn't even tell us about the award ceremony til the next day!
But when we sit around the dinner table and take turns telling what we like about Emma, at the top of my list will be her heart. She committed her life to Christ as a young child, and takes her faith very seriously. And it shows.
"I have no greater joy than to know my children walk in truth," the disciple John said in 3 John 1:4.
I know I speak for all parents when I say Amen to that.