Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 48

1,349 words.

Today I witnessed my first born in the school Geography Bee.  He was nervous because "Mom, there are going to be eighth graders!"  He asked for a blessing from his Father, he had thumped the fourth grade being the only one who got through all rounds without a mistake.  His teacher was ecstatic and is working with the gifted/talented coordinator to keep him motivated and challenged. 

He walked up to the microphone, shorter than it had been positioned.  "South Carolina."  Incorrect.
He looked nervous.  The school and parents could only give a non verbal shaking of hands for the clapping whether correct or incorrect.  Round two, only five had gotten the first question correct, one more shot and then disqualification.  This time written on a whiteboard and held up.  In perfect penmanship and in cursive.  "Kentucky."  Incorrect.

Somewhere my heart took a swan dive.  Not because he didn't win or get one right or even because I knew somewhere he knew the answers, but was overwhelmed by a brand new experience in a gym full of people.  It was because in his defeat he walked away and despite the hands of friends waiting to give him five it was like he didn't see them.  Couldn't see the beauty in both his teachers sitting by him, comforting him, his grade cheering him on, his spelling teacher looking like a proud dad when his name was called, other contestants shaking his hand.  I knew he couldn't see the beauty in the moment he had achieved, he could only see the defeat and it stung him.

I told him I never care if he ever wins anything else in the world, all that matters is his attitude afterwards.  He looked at me.  "But mom, I will be back next year."  I realized that he does want to win and that's ok.  I want him to want to win, but he needs to know how to lose and lose well.  T says it's ok if he's not ok losing because it means he will never give up.  It's still hard watching him work so hard for something and not achieving what he wanted so much to achieve.  He's only 9 after all.  I know the feeling.  Let's face it, he has two of us who don't like losing, but who lose all the time.  He's going to know what that feels like time and again, but I never want him giving up or not finding the necessity and wisdom that comes from loss.

So far, it's come easy for him.  I hope he remembers this day and that one day when he adds to the two medals he already has he won't forget all the people that loved him even when he wasn't on top.

Go, C.   I don't always understand you, I am often blown away by you, but I love you fiercely and win or lose, you are my hero.


  1. Wow! I think it's awesome that he gave it a go. Wanting to win because it means you have evidence you did your best is pretty healthy.

    I have to laugh about you having a good attitude about losing though...LOL ;)

  2. I swear, as a mom, my children's losses feel more real than my own. I'm sure this was difficult for you as well. But you're right. This is a learning experience and it will help him in the future. I'm glad C got as far as he did and there's still a whole big reason to be proud. =)