Tenth grader, Emuna, wrote this essay for her english class.  

As the story goes, when I was born, my father talked about my ear and how perfectly small it was, and how perfectly shaped it was, because what else would he talk about? He didn't know me, and all the little quirks about me.

By the time I was 12, my father had 12 years to get to know me. Yet, at my Bat Mitzvah, as I sat in a chair in front of everyone, I was listening to my dad speak about how perfect my ear was, again.  As I was sitting looking at everyone while my dad was talking, my eyes jolted from place to place, from the brown walls, to the huge windows, to the green pink brown and blue color theme. While he walked around in his blue striped collared dress shirt, and his pink shaded glasses, (my father always says, “everything looks better through rose colored glasses!”) he had a nervous smile on his face. He paced back and forth in the room that everyone was gathered in, the sun was shining in from the humongous glass windows, the shadows from the trees reaching from table to table.

As his speech went on, he started relating my ear to how life isn't perfect and how it's not easy to live with dyslexia because no one is perfect. We “all have struggles,” my dad said as he continued his speech,  “as life goes on we have to persevere and push ourselves to strive and work hard to become the best versions of ourselves.” As my father spoke with confidence, I thought about the ways my parents taught me to strive. When you hit a bump in the road, my parents taught me, that you should bulldoze through it; face it with a smile on your face and keep on trying.  We have to become like that perfect ear that our parents see in us when we are born, and during our whole lives until we believe it ourselves. Struggles don't define who we are, it means we have to learn to work hard and overcome to succeed.

It's hard to believe that you will become that perfect version of yourself, because of all the hard times that you have gone through, because you see the flaws and the mistakes that you make and you hold on to them for longer than you need to. However, when your parents see your mistakes, they calmly say to themselves, "Ok, you did something wrong, it's fine, try harder and learn from your mistakes". They see the perfect version of yourself within your grasp, a lot closer than you believe it to be.

I hope when I'm older, married, and have children I will be able to see that perfect ear my father saw in me when I was born, and see it in my kids, and guide them with similar views in the world. I hope to be able to help them through their struggles in the same loving and supportive way my parents support me.