(Preface: Today was one of those hair-on-fire, MACH-10 kind-of days where I bounced around like a pinball between both elementary schools for events, but oh, my heart couldn’t keep from bursting into a big, mushy mom puddle of happiness. I splooshed around in it as I watched my first-grader be the center of attention for his part in their Christmas performance, only to finish my busy day watching my children take first and second place in their social studies fair. Like I said, it was a good day.)
Happy the Hound Dog
There he stood, center stage, as the entire cast spoke and sang to him. The microphone was as big as he was, as he nervously looked up at his classmates, ignoring the crowd of parents behind him.
He howled his bestest, as was required of him. The cast covered their ears, sang songs about how he didn’t fit into their Christmas choir with this off-key howl. He wailed into the microphone how badly he wanted to be a part of it with them. He was the star, and I was a smiling, teary mess.
Eventually, Mrs. Claus convinced Santa and the rest of their friends that he could sing “Deck the Halls” with them, howling the “fa-la-la’s”. You couldn’t help but laugh out loud with joy.
As the play ended, and they took a bow, he looked over at me – video camera on the tripod, snapping away pictures of him as it hung heavily around my neck, toddlers tugging at my pants interrupting. But he smiled slightly, embarrassed and nervous but in that smile was pride of a job well done.
Afterwards, the teacher let them come to us for individual pictures and hugs. Despite wanting a solo picture, all I wanted to do was hold him close and tell him how proud I was of him. He has worked so hard, he’d practically memorized the entire script himself, he knew exactly when to go, and every word to every song, too.
With that smile and personality, I think he’s going to be a performer when he grows up, what do you think?
Social Studies Fair Winners
As I entered the gym, it was practically pandemonium. Students from younger grades were weaving in and out of exhibits to take one final look before the awards were announced, but little hands kept roaming onto the exhibit boards, touching in interest. I suddenly had a pit in my stomach, had they touched my children’s boards? Were their projects okay? With a sleepy Baby Dude in a wobbly umbrella stroller, I made way through the “S”-shaped snake-path of students to find my daughter’s. I was nervous, as we experienced trouble getting her pictures to stay permanently glued to the spray-painted boat to begin with. Thankfully, her Titanic project seemed okay, and her mp3 was still there, too. (She played music the band played as the Titanic sank during her oral presentation.)
But what about my son’s project with his best friend? Was it still alright, too? They did their project on the Atomic Bomb and we had two atomic bomb “cloud” models that could be pretty tempting to roaming kids to touch. Thankfully, their’s was (mostly) alright, they did mess with the cloud I made, picking at the poofy marshmallowesque surface. Hot glue would be on the menu for that later, that is, if they win and advance to the next round. Gulp.
As soon as my children entered the gym, they waved and ran to me for hugs. I was so proud of them regardless of the outcome, we all had worked really hard on these projects for several weeks (there were papers, speeches, crafts as well as the project boards). I am ashamed to admit that, at one time, I actually hoped they wouldn’t win because of all the issues we’d endured with the teacher’s non-communication, misunderstandings, I just wanted the experience to be over and done with, one more thing checked off the list as complete. But as soon as I saw their ecstatic faces and sheer excitement over a job well done, their faces forced that feeling went away. How could I even think that, after all this work we put in? Shame on me!!! I couldn’t be a prouder mother!
But then nerves set in as teachers came over the microphone to announce everyone to take a seat. This was it! After all these long weeks and so many participants! They began with the left side of the room, where I was sitting, and I watched, third, second and first place in other categories get announced, wonderful projects and ecstatic kids come skipping to the front as parents snapped pictures and hugged children. “Group C” was next, my daughter’s group. Project number 3 in Group C won second place! She won second place!! Ahh!
She walked up near-tears, half in shock, I think.
After a few other categories, the last winners to be announced were my son and his friend, the “Group History” category. “Third place goes to….” and “Second place goes to….” and then the doubts set in. Oh my gosh, only first place was left. They had to win first, or they didn’t win at all. My heart was in my throat, my camera was ready, and I kept praying silently I’d hear number two called. Please call number two!
“First place goes to, project number two!”
Ahhh! They won first place!
The ran up, hands over their head, like Rocky Balboa winning the SuperBowl. “We won” “Yeah” “We did it” they said as they ran up to get their award from their principal.
Here are my winners with their winning projects!
Later my daughter told me she did almost cry when it was announced she won. “Mom, I feel pride in myself, so proud of my win. Mom, I have you and daddy and (brother) to thank for helping me! Thank you so much!”
(And then mom almost lost it.)
Yessiree, it was a good day. My heart is so full.
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