Saturday, October 8, 2016

Try-outs

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!

17 comments:

  1. I believe the Quiz Bowl coordinator at your son's school did not handle telling the children correctly whether they made the team or not, each child should have been told in person and thanked for trying out for the team with an explanation as to why they did not make it, i.e., only so many students could be selected for the team, etc., rather than receiving a letter stamped "smarty." I hope Eli does not get discouraged because when he gets into high school in a few years there will be all kinds of fun activities. My daughter was able to participate in Model UN and on a Science Team in high school and all students who were interested were invited to participate. You may want to check if there are community activities or groups for his age that he can participate in outside of his school in areas of similar interest.

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    1. I agree! They really should have had a better plan for telling the kids the news. The letters were handed out right as they were leaving school on Friday, which almost feels like they purposely did to avoid seeing kids get upset if they didn't make it. Eli seems to be doing just fine--I think I was more upset than he was! ;)

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  2. Learning to deal with dissapointment is super hard but very important, and very important to learn early on :). It will be fine! He's very fortunate to already have so many things he has worked hard for and now is skilled at.

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    1. I agree, it is important to learn to deal with disappointment. This has been a tough year for Eli, because we went through a lot of problems with his baseball coach over the summer. He's due for some good luck!

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  3. I went through it with baseball tryouts in 5th grade and tear up just remembering that time. He cried for days. I know the pain is very fresh right now but it does get better. After not making baseball he tried playing lacrosse in the Spring instead and he places at high school level now and loves it. When one door closes I believe another door opens.

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    1. Thank you for that! I wonder if it's even harder on us parents than it is on our kids, because we so badly want them to be happy. I'm so glad that yours discovered lacrosse!

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  4. No matter how old your children get, their disappointment always hurts. My son is 46 and continue to "feel his pain". Talk about a cliche, but I believe it's true. Tell Eli that when one door closes another opens. Perhaps he didn't make the Quiz Bowl for a reason - there's something better out there for him.

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    1. I certainly hope so! He doesn't seem too discouraged, so I'm happy about that :)

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  5. I wish there was a way you could get a new treadmill as a payment for a promotion or review or something!

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  6. I know that it is maybe a cliché, but "every cloud has a silver lining"! So head up, cheer up! I keep my fingers crossed for Eli that some bigger "issue" comes soon to make him happy!
    Have a nice Sunday!
    Greetings from Switzerland!
    http://www.adinajustina.blogspot.ch/

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    1. I really hope that's the case! It was awful seeing him so disappointed, but he already seems to have forgotten about it. Hopefully something else will come along for him soon!

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  7. I absolutely think disappointments are WAY harder on parents. My son is 18, has been playing baseball since age 7 and the kid is good (yes, I'm his mom but he's had college scouts looking at him for 3 years. Baseball has always been not just a passion for him but truly his happy place during some very stressful family issues. This past spring his school got a new varsity coach who has only ever coached college and to say he was a horrible a-hole is simply too nice. He also owns/operates a local travel tournament team and this yahoo told my son during tryouts he was going to be starting 1st base, 2nd pitcher and 4th in the batting line up. All thru preseason that's exactly how things went down but as soon as they started games, my son as well as 12 of his teammates ended up on the bench in favor of the freshman and sophomores who are on his travel tourney team...for the ENTIRE season. In 20 games, my son pitched half an inning while the freshman pitcher was warning up. To say the parents and kids were pissed especially because the team, before this jacka$$ they won all but 2 games..in 3 years. This team lost all but 2 this season.

    ALLLLL of that to say that because of that, he the scouts stopped looking at him and he got so discouraged that he's now quit baseball all together. I'm literally tearing up writing this because i know how much he loved the game, especially because it was his escape. I think he's going to regret this decision but I've had many conversations with him and have always told him that i supprt whatever decision he makes but i know how much he's put into this game and how much talent he has. He's such a sensitive kid, tho he'd NEVER admit it but i know he's only quitting because his feelings got hurt and as a parent, that's heartbreaking. I'm still holding out hope that he'll change his mind but for as sensitive as he is, he's equally as stubborn so I'm not gonna hold my breath.

    I'm sure Eli will continue to step outside his comfort zone because he knows he has 2 fantastic parents who encourage him and are very supportive. Congrats to him on improving so much in track! That's so cool.

    Sorry this was so long...when i talk about my son i tend to get wordy lol

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  8. I hope your son does go on to try new things. As a mother of grown children, I have to tell you it doesn't get easier...when they are grown-up you have to tell yourself you can't kiss it and make it all better anymore....brutal.

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  9. I hope your son does go on to try new things. As a mother of grown children, I have to tell you it doesn't get easier...when they are grown-up you have to tell yourself you can't kiss it and make it all better anymore....brutal.

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  10. I recently discovered a podcast called Parenting Beyond Discipline and their first episode on self esteem had parts that made me think of this story with Eli. It might help you find some new ways to help him raise his self esteem

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  11. What I got from your post is we all know how important these disappointments are for kids to grow and learn and blah blah blah, but it's still hard. Especially when you encouraged your child to take a chance. Especially especially when your child is on the sensitive end of the spectrum. Tell Eli that we're all cheering him on. :)

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