From being really angry at my daughter a few hours ago, I'm feeling really, really proud of her right now.
Zinni and Davey attend our church youth group every Friday night. Before youth group a group of them meet for dinner at Subway. 2 years ago the Subway group was only 5 or 6 teenagers. Last year it grew to 8 or 9. This year it has suddenly exploded to around 15. There's really only my 2 teenagers left of the original group, as the others have recently moved off to start uni life. The new, larger group is made up of mostly 14 year olds. Silly 14 year olds. Silly 14 year olds who attend a Christian school, think they're morally superior and are witty when they mouth of at tough kids who are occasionally hanging around Subway too.
Davey had warned a couple of boys that it's not smart to mouth off at tough kids who have nothing to lose. Davey, my gentle boy who has spent 7 of his 9 school years at a State school, knows about tough kids and generally has no problem with them.
The Christian school kids thought they knew better and mouthed off again tonight. The tough boys put their chests and chins out and were looking to start a fight by chesting up to the mouthy but weak boys. Zinni, who chose to join the group at Subway for only the second time this year, calmly walked up to the toughest boy, put her hand on his chest (where she could feel his heart beating at a gazillion miles an hour) and quietly said "You don't want to do this." He allowed her to turn him around and guide him away from the group while telling him not to listen to the silly boys and telling the silly boys to stop talking NOW.
Somehow it worked. The tough boys did what the nice girl asked them to, the silly boys also did what the nice girl asked them to do, and all ended well.
And Davey? Well Davey is bursting with pride at his sister. The same sister who he commented this morning makes him really mad. He was impressed with how calm she was, how nicely she spoke to the tough boys, how commanding she was in gently maneuvering the toughest boy away. Davey (and a couple of the other boys) have said that all the boys were hopeless, and none of them knew quite what to do, so Zinni's being hailed as a hero!
And hooray for kids with State school smarts!