This morning I put on my church clothes, pulled my daughter out of gym class, and took her to her friend's grandfather's funeral. It was her idea, and there was no way I was going to refuse.
She greeted, and held the door for, her now-retired fifth-grade teacher who arrived at the church just behind us.
She sat on the aisle seat in our pew--the better to reach out and squeeze her friend's arm during the procession.
During the recessional, her friend stopped at our pew to give her a hug, and we stayed outside the church for a few minutes after Mass so she could talk to him before it was time for his family to head to the cemetery.
She gave up her lunchtime, her break time, her "hang out with friends at school" time so that she could be there for one friend for a few minutes.
Last night while we were running errands, she mentioned that she thinks it's silly for her to have to study religion at school. Her reasoning: she goes to church, and by this point she should be living it with her life. At 16, there's still plenty for her to learn, but I saw for myself today (as well as plenty of other times) that she's got a decent handle on living out the Works of Mercy.
You can say what you want about teenagers (and I've had my own frustrations with my teens), but Middle Sister showed me today what she's made of. I couldn't be prouder.