I absolutely love it when the children surprise me with little things that they do or want to do or are capable of doing.
M2, for example, surprised the heck out of me this week. We've been discussing the spring violin solo competition with her teacher, and she'd been leaning toward doing a short song that she already knows quite well. It wouldn't take long to work up, and - like I said - it's short. She always gets very, very nervous during solo competitions, and so she tends to choose short, easier songs so that she has a little less pressure looming overhead.
So imagine my shock this week when she changed her mind and insisted that she wants to play the song she's just finished learning. It's long, first of all, with several repeats as well as a 'DC al fine' to polish it off. Secondly, she's just finished learning it. There are only six weeks till the regional competition, and if she does well there, she'll go to state later in the spring with the same piece. Six weeks sounds like a long time to work up a piece until you realize that at the same time, she's working on two other pieces for the teacher's spring recital AND has selected another piece to learn and play for her solo at the recital (which, unlike the competition piece, doesn't have to be memorized). And sometime in there, the teacher's likely to have her start refreshing several other pieces for the spring recital as well.
She'll also take the music theory test for the first time this year. Her teacher's been handing out worksheets each week, and M2 has taken to them quite nicely.
She's good, my girl, and I'm really proud of her for putting herself out there like this. I can only hope that she doesn't start freaking out sometime between now and then.
M1 is making me proud, too. Last night, he made eclairs. Strawberry eclairs. I had to teach him how to use a piping bag, but other than that, he did it all himself and cleaned up the kitchen afterward. I love that part the most, I think, and the eclairs themselves were absolutely delicious. He wants to try to make blueberry or raspberry eclairs sometime soon. I'm not about to argue with him.
Then yesterday we got a nasty piece of news. At one of his swim meets recently, he did very well at breaststroke, which is his favorite stroke. He won his heat by quite a long shot and had great hopes of winning an overall ribbon. However, when I got the results and started looking for his name, I discovered that he'd been disqualified.
I was angry at first, but I took a deep breath and texted the coach, who gave me a quick, if somewhat vague, explanation and promised to talk to me about it in person. Which meant I had to tell M1 what had happened. I told him over lunch today, and while he teared up initially, he seemed to get past it quickly. I promised him that the coach would talk to him about it, and he asked if he still got to keep his heat ribbon. I said yes. (I didn't know for sure at the time, but they were going to get that back over my dead body. I didn't have to worry, but still...). Anyway, we went to practice, and the coach did indeed talk to M1 and me about the problem and helped M1 learn what to do so it wouldn't happen again. Overall, the coach acknowledged that it's not a normal situation and several kids were dinged for penalties that aren't supposed to exist in our beginner league... but... M1 wasn't upset. I was set to go all Mama Lion on the judges and league leaders and see if I could get things fixed, but M1 showed me that there was no need. He's really okay with things. He understands that it isn't fair and that sometimes we have to fight for injustice, but he also knows that there's another meet coming up in a couple of months and he can try again then. And he let it go.
I'm really stinking proud of my kiddos for pushing their emotional, experiential, and mental limits. They're acting really grown up this week.
Remind me about this next time I gripe. Thanks :)