Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Spelling Bee, Part I

A week ago a note came home from school, T had been selected to represent her class in the 2nd 3rd and 4th grade spelling bee. The top 3 spellers from each classroom will spell off .  We have known about the spelling bee for about a week. We practiced a little bit. Just enough to get her comfortable with the format, I thought. I was apparently mistaken. Tonight, when she should have been snuggling into her pillow, she folded her hands behind her head and peppered me with questions about what to expect tomorrow at the spelling bee.

"Mom? What happens if I miss the first word?"
"You sit down and listen to the other kids spell"
"Mom? What if they give me word I haven't studied?"
"T, You are a great speller. You will do fine. The important thing is to let it be fun."
(Here I had an "Oh my goodness I sound lie my mother!" moment.)
"How is it fun if I mess up at the beginning?"
"Choose. choose now that you will do your best and have fun."
(Insert more parental positive talk here ending with:)
"Good night! You both need sleep!"

As I said a prayer for her nerves to settle as I came down the steps. Thinking about her precious heart and how proud I am of her. T got into the spelling bee because she is diligent about studying her spelling words. My heart could burst. She earned her place. Yet still the doubts creep in. The unknown makes her nervous. Everyday Satan tries to undermine us. Erasing the weeks of excellent spelling scores and making her think this new experience is a scary one instead of fun.

Lord, Protect her. Give her joy in the experience.

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