Diamond daughter – Teen’s ode earns her mother a quarter-carat gem
To hear her tell it, silver may color her hair before Lindsey Croft realizes the power she wields with a pen.
To her family and a certain Southern California merchant, the Nevada Union High School senior’s written words cut to the quick with the precision of a diamond’s edge.
A quarter-carat diamond, to be exact.
At a school rally Friday, Croft learned that she had bested 21,000 contestants in a nationwide essay contest sponsored by a Costa Mesa jeweler to honor the value of mothers.
Croft’s 27-word treatise on the love for her mother, Lynne, caught the eye of Michael Watson, 45, who began the contest 12 years ago as a tribute to his own biological and adoptive mothers.
Mother and daughter are being invited to the Diamond Day Awards in Costa Mesa, March 6, when the $500 diamond will be presented.
What started out as a local contest in the San Diego area has since gone national, reaching all the way to Lynn McDaniel’s students at Nevada Union. For the past five years, McDaniel’s creative-writing and journalism students have been encouraged to enter the “Why My Mom Deserves a Diamond” contest.
Friday, Lindsey Croft received the unimaginable news.
“It’s a complete shock. I don’t even know how to describe it,” she said.
Croft’s prose came to her as she baby-sat for a neighbor several weeks ago. It took a few minutes, Croft said, to write a memory of her mother as a steadying, comforting force in Lindsey’s childhood.
Lindsey, the oldest of three, kept the words secret until McDaniel called Lynne Croft to Nevada Union on Friday afternoon.
“I thought, it’s never going to happen, so there’s no reason in telling Mom. I didn’t want to get her hopes up,” Lindsey Croft said.
She didn’t have to. McDaniel relayed the news in front of the entire student body.
McDaniel has encouraged her students to enter the contest for several years now. Two other Nevada Union students, Katie Bruce and Becky Hindt, were finalists in the contest entered by 55 of the high school’s students.
“I want people to show off their academics, because sometimes, it’s beneficial to them,” McDaniel said.
“This gives them more feedback than just a teacher’s.”
Watson, who has owned the Gallery of Diamonds store since 1991, said Lindsey Croft’s terse verse sparkled.
“She didn’t waste a single word in her writing. Those words will go down in history.”
Croft’s prose will be posted on the store’s Web site, http://www.galleryofdiamonds.com, along with past winners.
It’s all a bit overwhelming for Croft, a B-plus student, tennis doubles standout and mentor who hopes to attend either the University of San Francisco or San Francisco State University to pursue a career in broadcast journalism.
“I really struggle with the fact that I have to work hard for everything, and yet, I don’t always see myself blossoming,” she said.
Her mother knows the opposite has always been true, and she’ll soon have the diamond to prove it.
“Lindsey is a fantastic writer,” Lynne Croft said. “I’ve always known that, and now, she’ll believe it.”
The following 27-word essay won the national “Why Mom Deserves a Diamond” contest:
“Eyes sparkling, like iridescent drops of rain. Smiles warm, as hot cocoa on frigid rosebud lips. Loving, deeper than all the oceans and seas. Mother … my sanctuary.”
– Lindsey Croft
– On the Net
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