When I was growing up, my mom placed great emphasis on manners. If I had a dime for every time I heard her say "that's not very lady-like conduct..." Oh, but I love her for it to this day! Leanne was never excused from exhibiting proper manners simply because she had a disability. She was held to the same high standards that I was. We were reminded to place the napkin in our lap, chew with our mouths closed, sit with our legs crossed, and say "please" and "thank you" religiously. Upon receiving a gift, we were required to send a hand-written thank you note immediately.
Thanks to Mama Hop's tireless efforts, that sister of mine turned out to be one classy lady! After her big birthday extravaganza, she sent us a very gracious thank you note on lovely stationary in a very prompt manner.
Dear Sis, Travis, JoJo, and Merryn,
Thank you for coming to my party and swimming at Michelle's house. I had fun. Thanks for all the presents. I like the red and green shirts and pants. I wear them to school.
I give my mom a lot of credit and especially admire her for having the same expectations for Leanne that she had for me. The fact that she refused to make exceptions for Leanne empowered Leanne to achieve more, and it greatly contributed to the healthy sibling relationship that we have today. It is my hope that I can do the same for my children.