Before I talk about Lucy's speech meet (also, each time I type the word "speech"? It looks weirder and weirder), I have to talk about how I opened up a website yesterday, and there was a big banner across the top that said, "My kid was completely healthy. The next day he was dead. Find out what you need to know about meningitis." Now I was in full-blown freakout mode because who gets not one, but two, random library books about kids who die from meningitis and now this? So of course I start googling "signs of meningitis." Then I saw that not only is it quite rare, but we've been vaccinated for it, which is not surprising since, not only is that standard, but I'm so pro-vaccine that every time I take the girls to the pediatrician--even if it's not time for them to get a shot--I ask if they've got anything back there that they can at least get a booster for.
OK, we've dealt with that, and I'm sure you're relieved. On to the speech meet, which was yesterday. The night before Lucy wanted me to put curlers in her hair, and then I even ironed her uniform--something I haven't done since the first week of school--made sure she had the right pair of clean tights, etc. etc.
We practiced her verses again, but she knows them so well that she didn't falter at all. We practiced saying her name, standing still with her hands at her side, and speaking loudly and clearly. In the morning we prayed together before school that she would not be nervous and would do a good job. The judges pick four children from each class, two from each of the categories: poetry and Scripture. The winners go on to a regional speech meet that's in March.
Now, I am not a competitive person at all and never have been. I prefer to float down the river of life in my inner tube, chatting with my friends and sipping iced tea along the way. But something about having kids--other parents, are you with me? I want everyone to recognize that certainly, mine are the sweetest, brightest, smartest little shining stars that their dad and I already know they are. When I saw Lucy all ready for the day in her crisp little uniform and her curly hair with the butterfly clip in it...well, she should win just for adorableness alone.
Oh and I have to add this: the classes have their speech meets on different days, so already we've found out that Lucy's two friends from school who are also on the swim team with her won in their respective categories, and Lucy's best friend who's in second grade won for poetry.
Throughout the day, I kept praying for her, and I couldn't wait to pick her up from school to hear about her glorious performance and sure-to-be win. She came running out, holding her teacher's hand, with a huge smile on her face: "I did it, Mommy, I did it!" she yelled. As I was getting so excited for her, her teacher leaned in the car and said, "She did a great job. There were so many kids who did Bible verses this year--that's unusual--so she didn't win. But she still did such a good job."
I wasn't disappointed for myself, but I figured I better handle this gingerly...she seemed so excited, was she under the impression that she'd won too?
"Wow, awesome job, Lucy; I am so proud of you for getting up there and saying your verses!" I enthused.
"I DID IT!" she said again, "and you know what's sooooooo great? I DIDN'T WIN! Isn't that cool? When I said, '...in glory' at the end I knew I was done. If you win, you have to get up in front of everyone and do it AGAIN; no way!" High five me, Mom! I didn't win! Fist bump!"
Um, OK. I can go with that, no problem. I certainly know the feeling. And really--I just wanted her to do her best, which she did, and now she's got the ultimate value of having four verses from Colossians hidden in her heart
And so...looks like we have another inner tube rider in the world. Fist bump.