This past week Lauren won her classroom spelling bee (one of the top 5 out of 34 kids). She hadn't even practiced any of the words. She came home so excited and handed me the practice sheet which she'd written on the top, "I made it!!"
2 days later she competed against 25 other children in front of her entire grade, in the grade level spelling bee.
We did practice her words a bit, but nothing to intense. One of the words she kept missing was "abolitionists". The morning of the grade level spelling bee Matt was drilling her on some words, while I did her hair in our bathroom. She again missed the word "abolitionists". She kept wanting to be an "s" in the middle and for some reason added an extra "L". So, as we were heading out the door I told my always-want-to-do-everything-right-never-get-anything-wrong daughter that this was just a fun thing to do; to not stress about it. She said, "What if I get the word 'abolitionists'?" I assured her that with all of the possibilities of words---it wasn't very likely she'd get that word.
I was invited to watch the spelling bee. As I sat in the back of the school library, with all of her peers and students in her grade, I choked back fear, yet was beaming with happiness and excitement for her in this accomplishment. The 25 students competing were lined up on chairs in front of the group, while the other students sat on the floor. Lauren was about number 20 in order. She confidently spelled each word, as it seemed liked the other kids were dropping like flies. About round 9 the words increasingly got harder. As it became her turn again, I listened intently to see what word she'd get next. Then I heard the teacher say into the microphone very clearly, "abolitionists". I saw Lauren hesitate for a second, start the word,quietly sound it out, and then spelled into the microphone, "a-b-o-l-i-t-i-o-n-i-s-t-s". I was so proud. I wanted to stand up and cheer that she spelled it correctly. Honestly, this was probably the hardest word on the their study list. All of her friends were holding up their thumbs like, "good job, Lauren!".
Lauren will not progress to the grade level spelling bee (4th-5th-6th graders competing to go to district). But in my opinion she's still a winner. She finished about 7th overall for her grade. The top 3 move on.
I love watching Lauren grow up and gain confidence. She also decided to try out on her own for the school play. She made one of the lead parts. I can't believe she's going to be double digits next week...the big 10! She's growing up way too fast!