Yesterday was the toughest parenting moment I've had since I had my first child over 12 years ago.
Eli doesn't have very high self-esteem, so I'm always trying to encourage him to do things that he's good at. He's super creative, and very good at fishing and art, which don't get recognized very often. A few weeks ago, he asked if I thought he should try out for the Quiz Bowl team, and I said sure.
He went to tryouts for a couple of hours each week, and then on Thursday, he and three other kids were called to do a "practice". I asked him if that meant he made the team, and he wasn't sure. Yesterday, all the kids who tried out were given letters of acceptance or rejection. The letter was in an envelope, and there was a pack of Smarties taped to it. It said, "You're a smartie!"
When Eli saw me after school, he excitedly ran up to me, saying, "I made the Quiz Bowl team!" I got very excited and told him how proud I was, and then I realized he hadn't opened the letter yet. He saw the "You're a smartie!" stamp and assumed it meant that he made it. He opened the letter and started reading.
As soon as he got to the "I'm sorry, but..." part, his voice broke and he realized he actually didn't make it. He tried to shrug it off like it was no big deal, but he had tears in his eyes and his voice was thick when he talked. My heart felt like it just shattered into a million pieces. I felt absolutely terrible. I told him that I was so proud that he tried out, and I hoped it wouldn't stop him from trying out for other things in the future.
Thankfully, I had good news that I could tell him right away, to soften the blow. For cross country, we give a prize to the boy and girl who improve their times the most after each meet; and Eli desperately wanted to win. I had just calculated the numbers while he was at school, and Eli was the boy that improved the most! He ran the same course two weeks in a row, and shaved 1:24 off his time--that's a HUGE improvement. Normally, I would have waited to tell him with the rest of the cross country team, but I was desperate to make him feel better about Quiz Bowl.
I went in my bedroom and cried, because I just felt so bad and there was nothing I could do to make it better. It's not the fact that he's not on Quiz Bowl that is upsetting to me--but the fact that he decided to try out for something and then was told that he wasn't good enough. I tried out for things when I was a kid, and I was never chosen, so I know how it feels. After not being chosen several times, I just quit trying out for anything. I really don't want that to happen with Eli! He is truly one of the sweetest kids I've ever met (and I'm not being biased).
Today, we had another cross country meet bright and early. It was only 45 degrees! It was 80 degrees yesterday, and then today it's supposed to top out at 60. The whole team did great at the meet! I don't have their results yet, but I was really impressed when I saw how hard they were running. Eli (again) ran his fastest mile time to date--9:16! He was very proud of that :) My phone died as soon as I got to the meet, so I didn't get any pictures, unfortunately.
Thanks for the suggestions on treadmills! As it turns out, I'm not going to be buying a treadmill for a very long time. The furnace estimate nearly gave me a heart attack, and we actually have to borrow money to pay for it. I just wrote a couple of sponsored blog posts and I was planning to use the money toward a treadmill, but now it's just going toward a boring old furnace.
Today, after getting home from the meet, I could hear shotguns in the woods across from our house--nothing unusual, especially this time of year. There were a few REALLY loud blasts, and then I heard a spray of bb's hit the windows of our house! I was stunned. The windows didn't break, but the bb's definitely hit our house. The kids had been sitting on Noah's bed right next to the window when it happened. After making sure everyone was okay, I called the police.
The police came out here and basically said there's nothing they can do. He said there were about 30 hunters across the street at the time, and there was no way of knowing who shot the house. I called the DNR, and they said all their officers were at a goose hunting thing. I was just really frustrated, but there isn't anything anyone can do about the issue. We've lived here for 13 years, and this is the first time that's happened, so I'm hoping it'll never happen again.
I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend! Things have been so busy lately. I hope everyone has a great weekend!