I got to take my first daughter to the New Beginnings program at church last night, which is basically a special evening introducing the program she'll be joining later this year when she turns 12. There are only 2 new girls coming into the youth program for 2013, so she got some spotlight time all of her own, and they asked me to write an intro for her. Here it is:
Sage was the first granddaughter in her whole extended family, born in hot, humid, Houston, Texas. She was 3 ½ when her family first spent a summer in [this state], and 4 ½ when she moved here for good. This ward has been her home ward the whole time, as she's grown, been baptized, and now is on the cusp of Young Womanhood.
There are some really wonderful, but often hidden, qualities about Sage. For example, she's a keen observer of the world around her, especially details about nature, animals, color, and landscapes. She combines those powers of observation with a very tender heart and a desire for all creatures to be happy and taken care of. She'll stop and see every puppy or kitten but also every mantis or cricket she finds.
She's very neat and responsible, even though it's often overshadowed by the combined chaos of her siblings since she shares a room with her two sisters. She's a bit shy, but still loves to be around people and to be included in groups. She reads constantly, and has an incredible imagination. Combine her love of reading with the fact that she's definitely a morning person, and that means that she's often the first one awake, curled up on the couch with a book.
What I love most about Sage is watching those moments when she quietly blossoms. She's not dramatic, but she can really surprise you with her wit and intelligence right when you're least expecting it. She brings home paintings and art projects that belie her age, and I've kept them in a special place separate from all my other kids' school artwork. I love watching her run or ride her bike when no one else is around, she breaks free and glows with delight. I don't want to embarrass her, though that's hard to avoid; but she has such a sensitive awareness of the world around her that sometimes things are a little too much and she'll withdraw so that people don't get to see her when she really shines.
The name Sage was chosen to mean someone who was wise, respected, an anchor to those around them. It also happens to be a lovely herb, not showy but soft and fragrant, and we’ve planted a “Sage garden” including various varieties around our mailbox. Either way, the name fits her and we’re so glad to have her.
Adding to my bragging, if you don't mind indulging me a tiny bit, is the fact that my son Ian stayed home with the other kids during this evening event, and of his own initiative made us a batch of fresh bread. He had heard me mention that we were out and would have to figure something out for school lunches in the morning, and he went ahead and got two loaves rising in the pans before we even got home from the church thing. He stayed up a few minutes extra to put them in the oven when it was time, because he wanted to have done it all without my help. It was wonderful bread, and each of us thought of him when we ate it today...what a guy.