This week, well, I'd say the last several weeks have been a little stressful.
You see, she's in the top spelling group in her 5th grade class, and she found out she was REQUIRED to participate in our school spelling bee tonight. (It is VOLUNTARY for all 5th and 6th graders, but her group was required)
To say she was beside herself with worry and wanted to die on the spot was an understatement.
I even thought about writing a letter to her spelling teacher, opting her out of the spelling bee because she was so nervous.
Grace is not a shy girl at home, but at school, when it comes to things in front of people, she's a different girl. So, this was a big deal, and she didn't want to do it.
Needless to say, I never wrote the letter to her teacher. We talked it over, and told her just to go and see how it was, and if she didn't like it, she didn't have to do it next year as a 6th grader.
So, tonight we came home from school, only to go back again a couple hours later.
There was probably 30 or more kids who came to participate.
They did a practice round with words like cat and dog and go. Easy peasy, right.
Then they got down to business.
I couldn't even tell you what some of her words were. I was just as nervous as she was.
As a parent, these kind of times are so hard. You want your children to succeed in all they do, and no matter what happens, you're still proud of them, and love them to death. But you can't help feeling a little sick inside.
There was a part of me, the whole time we were watching, that was just scared, so I prayed. I prayed though the whole spelling bee..."Lord, just give Grace the courage to go up there. Give her a clear mind, and help her spell the words like I know she knows how to. Just help her." Amen.
The kids, it seemed, in round 2 and 3 were suddenly dropping like flies.
The words got harder and harder, and were definitely from the 7th grade spelling list we DIDN'T study. She got through each round, though, and soon there were only 5.
You could tell each time she went up to the microphone, she was nervous, and I was nervous for her. I saw good spellers fall with easy words. I saw last year's winner, who, by the look on his face, think he was going all the way, only to get out on a mistake.
You could tell a million things were going through her mind the whole time she was up on stage.
I kept praying.
She went out on the word lackadaisical.
It was down to two kids. Both misspelled their words, so the top 5 were all called back up on stage, Grace included.
You could tell she was relieved.
I was too.
It soon came down to just her and her friend, Ashley.
Ashley misspelled her word, and it was Grace's turn again.
I just couldn't get over the fact she was a finalist. She didn't even want to be in the spelling bee!
She got her word right, and was chosen as CHAMPION!
We were so proud! She was so shocked! She got a trophy, and her picture will be in the paper, and she has to go to the County Spelling Bee in January.
Congratulations Grace! We love you and are so proud!