The kids’ school is having a spelling bee. I don’t remember the school doing it in previous years while my kids have been attending there. If they have, I certainly never knew about it. And now I’m afraid to ask anyone if they have done it before, because that would expose me to censure and ridicule.
The kids were given lists of words a few weeks back. Varmint has been practicing; I’m pleased with her overall spelling ability. And she shows drive…there are a couple of her friends she really wants to beat. I’ve even heard her use the term “Double threat”.
How can you have a double threat in a spelling bee?
I’m afraid to ask because it would expose me to censure and ridicule.
Now, Critter also said he wanted to win the bee. But every time I asked him if he wanted to study the word list, he had more important things to do, like draw dragons or make paper airplanes. He may have skimmed over the words once or twice, but honestly, I don’t think that list came out of his folder more than that.
Today was his grade’s spelling bee. He did let me go over some of the words with him last night. I won’t lie to you, he stunk. He must have misspelled seven out of ten words. After about ten minutes of that, I said, “Why not just go to bed, love. It’s too late to work on this now.” He shrugged it off and was not worried.
This morning he announced over his biscuit that he was sure he would do well enough in today’s spelling bee to end up competing against Varmint in the multi-grade finals if she could make it to finals, too. I wanted to brace him for the disappointment that was sure to come, but I held my tongue, figuring that it was better to let experience teach him on this one.
Varmint was optimistic for him, but I quietly shook my head at her to hush so she wouldn’t get his hopes up. I felt bad for him, but, well, if you don’t do the work, you don’t win, and you don’t go to finals. That’s life.
You have to work for your own success. And he didn’t. He could have, but he chose not to. And the consequence for not working, is often losing. It’s a simple concept to grasp. Painful, but simple. And, it’s an important life lesson that he would do well to learn now, rather than later.
Sometimes parenting stinks because it’s like watching a train wreck. You can’t stop painful lessons from happening. All you can do is pick up the pieces afterwards. So before Critter and Varmint came home, I read a few parenting books, and tried to pick up some good counseling concepts to help him through the disappointment I knew he would go through today. I spent some time talking myself up, preparing, bracing for the worst, getting ready to help my little guy navigate through this particular rocky rapid of life.
He came home off the bus, beaming.
He made it to the spelling bee finals.
So much for that little life lesson.