Laura was nominated as one of the three best spellers in her class, so today she took part in the spelling bee at her school. We have practiced and I felt she was ready. She was #3 in a row of 12 kids–all fourth graders. Whoever won today goes to the district-wide bee in January. Last year Laura came in 2nd and went to the district bee, where she misspelled somewhere in the middle. It was very exciting. Today…notsomuch. She stood up for her first word “length” and spelled it incorrectly (lenght). I felt so badly for her! When we got to see her afterwards she just fell apart and was crying. I was scrambling for the words to comfort her (not my strong suit, I assure you). I had hoped she at least wouldn’t be the first to go out–she was 2nd–but it was in the first round.
One of the hardest things as a parent is to see your child in pain, be it physical, emotional, mental…whatever. Our first instinct is to “fix it”. Kissing booboos as babies and toddlers works great. As they get older that not only isn’t possible, it’s not even something we should be doing. Life ISN’T fair (anyone who tells you differently is selling something) (Movie name anyone?). And if the lessons and disappointments have to come at a spelling bee in fourth grade, then, well, let them come. At least at this point, I can hug and console that there will be another year. When she’s 23 and has her heart broken it might not be the case.