I'm going to brag. You've been warned. If you're still reading, you are choosing to indulge in my bragging.
My son, 4th grader Tyce, won his class spelling bee last week which qualified him for the school-wide bee. Today was the school bee. 23 kids from grades 3rd to 8th grade.
With half the school and a bunch of parents (about 250 people total in the audience), spellers arranged on stage, and janky school microphone ready to be passed from kid to kid, the spelling bee began.
The first round is practice so they can get their jitters out. Tyce nailed his practice word: dairy. Then he made it through round one: fife. Several students were knocked out in round one. On to round two where he spelled: goatee [nice word choice]. Got that word right (with some pauses and what looked like deep thought) and sat back down.
A bunch of students exited after round two and only 7 remained for the third round. And round 3 is where Tyce hit his buzz saw: ubiquitous. 5 other spellers also went down in round 3. The final round was quick and a very sharp 7th or 8th grader won the bee.
I was really proud of Tyce--if you're a parent you know that it is impossible not to be proud when your kids "dun good".
But last night while I was hugging him before bed (right after we had done a bunch of practice words) I told him I was already proud of him and that it didn't matter to me if he went out on the first word in the bee. I want my kids to know that their performance will never determine my acceptance or admiration of them. That they can just go and do their thing and come home.
And at the same time, when they "dun good", I will be the parent that is making a fool of himself cheering for his kid.
So, "way to go buddy!" (Insert foolish antics here.)