"There's A Girl in Texas" who is, by almost any definition, really special. She has been special since the moment she was born. She is our family's pride and joy and Sunday, April 8, she turned 11 years old. Happy Birthday, sweet girl!
This special girl is, of course, our double miracle girl, the light of our lives, our granddaughter, Maddie-the-Great. Before you go any further, I strongly urge you to take a few minutes and read her story in the following posts. After you read her story, you'll understand a lot better, why I go on and on about this special girl. (Go ahead, read.....take your time, I'll wait!)
Part I: Against All Odds
Part II: It's NICU time!!
Part III: Life in the NICU and Beyond
Part IV -- The Week When Time Stopped
Part V -- Our Second Miracle
Part VI -- Addendum
So, are you back?? Did you read it all?? Do you see why she is so special, at least to us? Of course you do! She is Maddie-the-Great for good reason!
Those health issues are all over with now and we are grateful. M-t-G is completely healthy, suffered no consequences of being a preemie and on top of that she has been cancer free for eight years! There are other ways that she is special too. She is extremely bright. Seriously bright, not just proud- Grandma bright!!
At the end of this school year she will "graduate" from elementary school and will be promoted to Middle School (6th-8th grades). Kids in Austin have several options for Middle School. Most of the kids go to one of the public Middle Schools as assigned according to the School District boundaries, but in addition to parochial or private schools, there are four other options. There are three Middle School Magnet schools which focus on different areas of interest. One is performing arts, one is law and international studies, a third (KMS) is an academically rigorous program, and the fourth is the Anne Richards School for Girls. Application to these four consists of academic records (grades), special needs (gifted kids), and individual essay.
M-t-G applied to KMS and Ann Richards. Ann Richards School is a program established by the late Texas Governor, Ann Richards, to provide educational opportunities focusing women and opportunity. Richards was also specifically established to provide opportunities for the financially disadvantaged girl. Their enrollment is structured to be 75% from economically depressed neighborhoods in the city and the remaining 25% of the enrollment is selected by lottery of eligible applicants.
Our girl was accepted at KMS and was accepted/eligible at Ann Richards. Whoo-Hoo!! That's our kiddo!! Although accepted/eligible at Ann Richards she was not selected in the lottery. She may reapply next year or any following year, but I don't know that she will because she is REALLY excited at being accepted at KMS! It was really her first choice. There were 800+ applicants to KMS, of which about 200 were accepted and our Maddie was one of them!
I think it will be a good choice for her. She needs the challenge of being with other very bright kids. School has been easy for her, straight As more often than not with not much effort. KMS has an interesting curriculum and many electives are offered that challenge the kids in unusual ways (e.g., Physics through Cooking). For the first time M-t-G may have to work a bit harder, but that's a good thing!
Of course, we are extremely proud of her! She has already taken her Math placement test and she is awaiting the results. She also has auditioned for the KMS Orchestra (she has been studying violin for four years) and it was indicated that she will most likely be accepted. She's looking forward to that too!
Maddie has such a broad range of interests....she loves American History (especially WWII and the Civil War eras), she loves math, she loves music, she likes to be physically active, she is taking Tae Kwan Do and has already achieved several different colored belts (I've lost track of what level she is at currently), she is still in Girl Scouts, she loves to swim and roller skate (not at the same time!) She wants to take up archery! She loves horses and riding. Nine times out of ten, when she watches TV, she watches the History or Discovery channels. Her vocabulary is outstanding. She reads constantly (when she's not doing any of the other things she does!) Her reading comprehension level has been identified at the High School Senior level and above! As I said, she's an interesting kid!!
She, like every other kid, has some things she struggles with. She likes to be in control. She is feisty. She has a temper that can get nearly out of control. She is also approaching the time that hormones kick in and put her on that emotional roller coaster of the Tween/Teenager. Every parent of girls has experienced that time when all of a sudden their happy little loving sunshine girl into a sad, miserable unhappy lump! We have seen glimpses of that with our girl, and the next few years could be challenging for us all.
A few weeks ago M-t-G was upset about something with her mom and dad, and it slid into a melodramatic meltdown mode, with yelling, and tears, and "nobody likes me, I have no friends, you don't understand, you won't let me do anything, you don't love me!" In between the dramatic sobs and the litany of being unloved, she paused, then sobbed out, "I am, of course, speaking metaphorically!!"
Oh yeah, she's our Maddie-the-Great! She's a pistol! I mean, really, how can ya help loving a kid like that??!!