In eighth grade Language Arts, Lindsay was asked to write about her Michigan Hero. I’ll let her surprise you…

When someone asks me who my Michigan Hero is I think of an experience I had in fourth grade….
In Math class, I was bent over, squinting at my work. A sigh escaped the tiny girl who sat across from me. She looked confused.
“Zuri, do you need help?” I questioned. She shook her head and went back to deciphering.
A few minutes later Zuri leaned over to the boy sitting next to her. “Alan, can you help me?” she asked.
I looked up, confused. Hadn’t I just offered her help? 
Something snapped inside me. I could help just as well as Alan! After he explained the problem, I flipped my paper over. “Zuri likes you,” I scribbled on the back and showed it to Alan. He gave me a weird look, and went back to his work. I had planned to erase what I wrote, but somehow forgot.
At 3:30, we were lined up by the door. Jenny walked up to me, holding a piece of paper. “Did you write that Zuri liked Alan?” she asked. “It was sitting in the recycling bin.”
To this day I don’t know why Jenny was looking through the Recycling Bin or how she recognized my handwriting. But people started looking at me and whispering. I could only imagine what they were saying.
Why did I do it? I kept asking myself as I waited for my mom to pick me up. Why?

When we reached our house, I sprinted down the grassy hill in our backyard and plopped down beside a tree in the woods. I sat there and let the tears come. Worries hammered in my head. What if no one ever talks to me? How does Zuri feel right now? Gosh, I’m so stupid!

I finally stood up and plodded toward my house. On the way, I decided to tell my mom. Maybe it would make me feel better.
I shuffled inside, found my mom in the kitchen, and poured out my story.
She looked at me and replied, “Well, you need to call her.”
“No!” I cried.
“Yes,” she responded, not wavering.
Why?”
“Because you need to apologize.”
Ten minutes later I was staring at the phone book, slowly dialing the number. That was the worst phone call I’d ever made. Zuri didn’t know what I was talking about and I was in a hurry to get off the phone, but when I finished I felt slightly better.
If you haven’t guessed, My Michigan hero is my mom. There are not a lot of people in the world who are willing to push you, correct you when it’s needed, and make you do something that you would never do on your own. I think that the things that have shaped my character today are the mother-directed things that I didn’t want to do. And I really am grateful… until the next hard thing comes along.
Isn’t she a great kid? I’m proud of you, Lindsay!

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