children, motherhood, parenting

Winning to Me

Full Speed had a respectable seventh place finish out of thirty-seven at his school’s bee.  The difference between him participating as a fifth grader and now is unbelievable.  He used to be the smallest, now he is among the tallest.  His voice, the depth of which I found unsettling, held steady as he spouted off each letter.

I no longer saw a boy on that stage.  In his place stood a confident young man.

Leading up to the competition, T.Puzzle and I continued a lively debate.  He believes a person is awesome only if they are winning.  I still hold that awesomeness is static.  Sometimes that expresses as external achievement, but mostly it is comprised of intangibles.  I do not fault T.Puzzle for his perspective.  Our culture exalts individual, external success.  Winning makes sense to him.  I get that.

Maybe Full Speed did not technically win the spelling bee, but from my view he demonstrated what it means to succeed.  He had the nerve to get up on that stage and compete with all eyes of the auditorium zeroed in on him.

I couldn’t do that.

I probably wouldn’t even be able to spell my name right in that situation.

When it was all said and done, he bounced back quickly.  He did not entertain the notion that misspelling a word defines him a person.

That feels like winning to me.

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children, motherhood

How Do You Spell Unforgettable?

This afternoon Full Speed will participate in his school-wide spelling bee.  He beat out over 140 students to earn this spot.  I asked him if he remembered the speech I gave him before his spelling bee when he was in fifth grade.

“Nope.”

I turned my attention towards T.Puzzle.  “I gave you the same speech before your fifth grade spelling bee.  Do you remember?”

“Nope.”

“Wow,” I said.  “I really am making such a lasting impact on both of you, aren’t I?”

“Well, we both did win,” Full Speed said.

“Good point.  Maybe I know what I am talking about after all.”

Here is that unforgettable(?) speech:

“I want you to remember that you are awesome.  The amount of awesome you have inside you is static.  That means it doesn’t change.  There is nothing you can or can’t do to change this fact.  At the beginning of the spelling bee you will be awesome.  At the end of the spelling bee you will be awesome.  And during the middle, you will still be equally awesome.  Winning or losing can’t change your awesome-ness.  If you wonder how I know this it’s because when you were a baby and I held you in my arms for the very first time I loved you instantly.  I kind of already loved you before I even knew you.  Why?  It wasn’t because I thought to myself, ‘someday this kid is going to be great at spelling.’  No, it was because you were awesome.  You were then, you are now and you always will be.”

You can read the entire, memorable(?) post here:

The Story of a girl and Her First Little Buckeye

Stay tuned to learn Full Speed’s spelling fate.