My kids had an assignment for school to give a speech. They had to pick either a poem or a Bible passage (both from a page of suggestions to pick from), memorize it and then present it to their class. After that, each class would select two students for a Bible verse and two students for a poem to go to the speech meet that our school hosts next month.
As much as I would love to see my kids participate in the speech meet (yes, I was one of those awesomely cool kids who proudly went to a speech meet from time to time in high school), I did not pressure them or keep talking about the meet. I just wanted them to do their best.
And, quite honestly, Abby has a basketball tournament that same day so it REALLY was okay with me if they were not chosen.
Now I expected my over-achiever Abby to work hard and want to be selected. Caleb, on the other hand-he is so smart, but because of that, does not always try very hard. So I was very surprised when, during the last couple of days before the speech, he suddenly wanted to practice and work hard.
The day of the speech, he wanted to get up early to practice (I don't blame him-I wake up early every day because it is the only time the house is quiet enough to think). My Caleb, who I have to drag out of bed every morning (except for the weekend, when he miraculously bounds into my room at 7am) was up at 6:20 am to practice his speech.
I know. Amazing.
Came to learn AFTER he left that the speech was to be delivered the next day. I wrote it down for the wrong date.
No problem-he wanted to wake up early the next day, just to make sure he was ready.
I went to the school that afternoon for the Valentine's Day party and before I left, his teacher gave me the letter that said he was selected for the speech meet. When I told him about it, the look on his face was precious. My middle child was so excited and proud that it brought tears to my eyes. For once, it was all about him and not something "his sister had already done before."
I later found out that he had told his dad on the way to school that day that he really wanted to make the speech meet and was going to do it. Well then-I guess he had made up his mind.
Now, for my over-achiever daughter, whose speech was not given until two days ago (her teacher had to go out of town and then fell ill, so they finally gave their speeches to their sub). She knew her speech forwards and backwards (after all, she had an extra week to know it), delivered it with humor and expression, but did not make the cut.
Here is where I am proud of her and embarrassed by my thoughts.
She told me that she did not make it, but did not cry or complain. She said her friends told her that they could not believe she did not get it, since she had everyone laughing with her speech, but she was happy for her friends that did make it. Outwardly, I told her how proud of her I was and how she is so blessed to be able to play select soccer and be in higher reading and math classes and that it is nice when other kids get to be a part of things instead of her, to which she agreed.
Now, here is what my sinful, mama bear mind was actually thinking...
Are you kidding me? I cannot imagine someone reading a speech better than my daughter. And one of the winners forgot her lines and had to start over? I wonder who would have been selected if the teacher was actually there.
Yep-not proud of it, but I think every mom can understand my feelings.
I have watched my kids play enough sports to know that they learn and grow more from the games that they lose than the ones that they win. They need to not always get everything and win everything and be the best at everything. But, as a parent...wow. It hurts to see them disappointed, especially when I know how hard they worked at something.
My kids are currently 9, 7, and 3. Something tells me that I have many years ahead of me of heartbreak. And, thankfully, joy.