Thursday, October 24, 2013
Elections That Matter: Why My Second Grader's Campaign for Presidency Matters to You
Today my second-grader runs for President...of his class. He told my wife this morning, "I can't wait to vote for myself!" As part of the campaign process he will give a speech in front of his class. No big deal, right? Not for me. I love giving speeches. It makes me feel alive, but Pierson has a speech impediment. Speech Pathologists have worked with him since the age of three because all he ever said was, "Bagaw" (Yep, kind of like a bird). A few years ago he tested in the 1% for kids his age. He has come a long way but there is more work to be done, and he does work.
I don't want you to feel sorry for him because he doesn't feel sorry for himself. In fact, he does not even seem aware of how his talking troubles might affect his second-grade oration. He is not afraid, but eager and excited. Part of his lack of hesitancy is just Pierson. He is that way...tenacious, courageous, optimistic and eager. But more of it is that people speak value and confidence into his person. Grandparents, people at Church, his mother, teachers, therapists and even his brothers encourage him, root for him, build him up, celebrate his victories, and cheer him on. They speak words of strength and courage and he believes them. His impediment does not define him, your love does. This is the power of YOUR words!
Pierson may not win the Second Grade Presidency today. I don't really care because he has already won! Today, I celebrate not election results but people who build up my son. I pray he never loses the courage, the eagerness, and the hopefulness he shows today. As my wife said, "I wish I could be a fly on the classroom wall!" He's got my vote!
[He recently told me he wants to be a preacher so he can tell people about God! That is the majesty of God, taking a kid with a speech impediment and using him to declare his glory. That's what God does!]