Anyone who knows Marlee could tell you she is no ordinary 8 year old girl. Instead of dress up, you can find her in the front yard shooting hoops. Instead of ballet class, she is more comfortable on a dirty softball field. This is a girl who thrives on schedules, challenges, and homework. Sometimes I wonder where she got all that. As a scattered mother, I am learning how to create an environment that helps her feel secure and loved.
One thing you need to know about Marlee is that she is a total pack rat (yet another thing that she does NOT get from me. ) Anytime I try to throw out even the oldest, dirtiest toys long forgotten in the basement, she will cry for hours in mourning. I can't even be caught throwing away old math homework because it will break her heart; parting with anything is unusually hard for her.
Last week at church, her children's pastor challenged the children to be collecting money that can be sent to Haiti specifically to supply water in a time of great need. On Friday, Marlee was given 21 dollars for high grades on her report card and she decided without hesitation to donate every dollar she got to the people in Haiti. She stated this on her way into Target. I smiled and wondered if her decision would stay the same as we shopped through her favorite store. She never wavered... Her decision was made. My heart just aches with pride as I see my daughter understand what it means to give sacrificially to those who need it more than her. For those of you who want to give me credit... I don't believe its mine to accept. I believe that Marlee and her brothers are a product of much prayer and being surrounded by amazing people who challenge them. Thank you to the Gerrild family and all of you who have input in my children's life.