Emma was in the spelling bee yesterday at school. She and another boy won their class tournament, and yesterday both classes of each grade competed to determine who would represent the school at the regional spelling bee.
My poor girl has inherited a few of my
Second, she has a stringent, perfectionist standard for herself. Flaws in other people? No problem. That's what grace is all about. Flaws in one's self? Ack. Panic.
Third...you know what? That's all for now. We're gettin' a little too pers'nal.
Anyway, she choked last year during the spelling bee and misspelled an easy peasy word. And she sobbed and sobbed.
I absolutely understood.
When she won the class tournament this year, she did not tell me. I didn't know anything about it. I got an email from her teacher that started out with, "I'm sure Emma already has told you all about it, but..." And I had to tell her that, in fact, I hadn't heard a peep out of her on the subject. And when I asked Emma about it, she screwed her face all up and said she didn't want to do it.
Of course, I knew why she didn't want to do it.
And of course, like any mama should, I made her do it anyway. Not in the dragging her feet and screaming sort of way, but I told her she should try and conquer this thing. And we discussed worst-case scenarios (and the truth behind them): barfing on stage (everybody will just be worried about you), misspelling a word (heck, all but one are going down that way), being the first to misspell a word (well, somebody has to be first, and if it's you, won't you be relieved it's all over?) and other such niceties.
She agreed to participate, trying to bargain with me the whole way - what if she won? Would I make her go to regionals too? And I said we'd cross that bridge when we got there.
So, she did it. She came in second place, which should be a relief, right?
And on the surface, it would seem to be disappointment associated with loss.
But she's my girl, and I knew better.
She had misspelled an easy peasy word again. She's embarrassed to misspell something so easy in front of everyone. And mostly, she's mad at herself. She's mad that she couldn't beat the stage fright beast. She's mad because she knows she can out-spell most everyone in the room, including most of the adults. She's mad because she wasn't able to prove it.
And I understood.
We went to a private corner and I dried up her red, wet cheeks. I tried to offer some silver-lining platitudes. But they weren't enough.
Then she brightened up and said, "Well, at least I was the top speller in my class."
You know what? That kid is going to be okay. My silver linings were not good enough, but she was able to find her own.
PS: aren't her new bangs cute?
DAILY BLISS: sigh. my honey is back home. even without all the other wonderful things he brings to the table in this relationship, i'd keep him around just to have somebody else make my coffee in the mornings.