Reflections & A Perfect Afternoon

Months and months (and months!) ago, Bug and Vi decided to enter the Reflections Contest at school. The theme this year was “Believe, Dream, Inspire.” Vi wanted to take some photos, so I sent her outside in the backyard with my old iPhone and Bug wanted to make some visual art representing the clouds and how they can look like shapes with your imagination.

Well, about 6 weeks ago I got an email saying Vi’s entry had won at the school in that category and was going on to the county level. Yay! I asked if there was going to be some kind of awards ceremony, and they said in April there would be one after the winning items were returned from the county judging. This was in like February, so I didn’t even mention it to Vi cause I didn’t want her to be asking and asking when the ceremony would be and the details seemed very fuzzy.

Eventually, it got to be April. And eventually, about three weeks ago, the ceremony was announced via email. They said the children would be getting a certificate. I finally let Vi know she had won, and she was of course thrilled to pieces!

Bug….not so much. Of course it is disappointing but I kept reminding her that LOTS more kids enter and don’t win then the ones that DO win. Everyone can’t win. In today’s world where everyone gets a medal just for participating, this is a very difficult concept to grasp. We had to talk about it for a long time, and she was still incredibly sad and didn’t really understand why she couldn’t “win”.

So, the morning of the ceremony arrives last Friday and I ask Bug if she wants to see Vi get her award and she says yes, but starts crying again and insisting “They just don’t know how hard I worked on that project!!

It was quite dramatic. Like Big Ol’ Crocodile Tears.

I reminded her that she needed to be a good sport and be proud of her sister, and that if she was going to cry then she couldn’t come to the ceremony. I told her when people do things like play baseball or football, one team has to win and one team has to lose. That is the way it works. Everyone can’t win all the time. I told her the time for disappointment and tears had been WEEKS ago when I first told them Vi had won, this morning was only a time to celebrate her sister’s accomplishment. She pulled herself together, but was clearly still very pouty on the way to the bus stop.

Imagine my surprise then when I arrive at the school and go to the office, only to see a line of kids in the hallway including Bug.

Her teacher greeted me and said “Oh yes, all the children who participated will be recognized.”

This. Was. Not. In. The. Email.

Not in any of the emails actually, that I recall. My entire lecture on good sportsmanship and on the fact that we can’t all get an award all the time had been wasted. Bug was in the hallway, practically glowing and bouncing up and down.

Vi was eying me suspiciously and slightly confused.

“Mama, you said she didn’t win. I won. Why is she standing in the line?”

Well I guess they decided to give all the children something. “But don’t worry,” I said, “yours went to the county level and I am sure you will get something special for that. There will be something for participating, and something for winning. I’m sure of it!”

She half smiled. She was not sure of it.

And of course, about ten minutes later I was eating my words. They presented every single child who participated with a certificate AND a cute colored pen. Kids who entered more than one category got multiple pens and certificates.

Nothing extra or special was done for the kids who actually were selected to “Win” and move on to the next level.

Everyone was The Same.

I could rant about this. Seriously. How are our kids ever going to learn to be good sports and lose graciously if we always treat everyone the same regardless?!?!? GAH!

Thankfully, when it came down to it, Vi decided to be the gracious one and she accepted that her sister had also won without crying or pouting or carrying on about it. I was sure to make a point of this to Bug later. And of course I had to apologize for being wrong. Multiple times.

(Oh and it was “Sports Day” at school, hence the Broncos shirt and Red Sox hat. Both items courtesy of my brother and sister, since we don’t actually have a sports team or watch any sports at our house! It was a desperate dig for something “sporty” the night before, we barely managed to find these!)

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I left them to finish their day at school.

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(If you look closely you can see that Bug was skipping back to class, both her feet are off the ground!)

It was an early release day from school anyways, so they were home just after lunch time and it was beautiful outside. Finally feeling like Spring!Since Little Man was at his cousin’s house playing, I decided to run the girls out fora  quick haircut. Bug has been harassing me for weeks about this, but it has just been to hectic to get around to it. Can I just say, being on break from school for me is so nice.

So. Nice.

Look how cute they are!

Before:

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(Vi is trying to grow her hair out, and was very worried they were going to cut it too short)

After:

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(I forgot to take Bug’s picture After in the salon, but here we are outside about an hour later)

When we got back home Vi wanted to ride bikes, as usual if it is any temperature above freezing (and sometimes even when it is below freezing!) So we headed out to enjoy some real sunlight, the blue sky, and time with each other. Being on a break from my school is So. Nice.

Vi is getting waaaaay to small for her bike with the training wheels. In fact her knees nearly hit the handlebars and she tipped over…..twice…..just from trying to turn the thing and weighing too much. She has had a HUGE growth spurt the last month or so, she eats more at dinner than either of the boys and considering Edo is now over 6 feet tall and a teenage boy that really is saying something!!!

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(This is from a walk after dinner a few days earlier, but it is the most recent photo I have of her on the bike. You can see….she doesn’t fit really. Good thing her birthday is on Saturday!!!!!!)

Daddy got home from school early and, since it was so beautiful out, decided it would be a fine time to teach the girls how to play ball.

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I was the pitcher first, and they caught on really fast! I was impressed at how often they managed to actually hit the ball, even with my poor throwing skills. Then Daddy took a turn pitching, at which point the odds of them hitting the ball increased exponentially:

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After awhile, Vi moved on to catching while Bug rode her bike a little more. Our neighbor, a little boy who is 6, also came over to play with us for awhile but I didn’t get any photos of them all playing because my darn camera was FULL. We blew some bubbles too!

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In fact, even the Big Kids even came out to join us for a little bit! They hit the ball around, but also tossed the football. No one in our little family are big “sports” people, but it was really great just to be outside and play.

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I hope as the weather continues to improve that we can have more fun as a family outdoors. Now that Daddy is almost done with school he finally has a bit of free time as well. It was a beautiful, perfect afternoon.

And a very busy, full, beautiful, day.

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3 Responses to Reflections & A Perfect Afternoon

  1. Emily says:

    I’m so excited to hear about her reaction to the new bike! What a wonderful thing for her!

  2. Anna says:

    Hahaha! Vi’s wild face at the end made me laugh so much.

    I am with you on the “everybody wins” frustrations. You handled it well, though, especially with the (lack of) information you had about the event. How confusing and difficult, for something that should be uncomplicated and special!

  3. Shannon says:

    The first time my oldest got a ribbon for finishing in 4th place I was stunned.
    Winners and losers seem to be a thing of the past.

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