Monday, 11 March 2013

The Nog

Mimi getting ready to take flight.

My wife has told me that I should start telling people that I have a nog...that is a "non-blog" since I have become such an infrequent blogger.  To tell you the truth there have been loads that I've wanted to and intended to write about, however sleep so often takes me over these days.  The Oscars would have made a good blog.  I did my undergraduate degree in Film and Drama, so I could have thought of a thing or two to say about the Oscars.  I could have even shared my Oscar acceptance speech that I have tucked away for potential future use.  Anyway, you'll have to wait until next year to hear my thoughts about the Oscars and most likely a few more years to hear my acceptance speech.

I will be writing more frequently again though, that I can say with a bit of certainty.  Why?  Because I want to and of course I'm a very busy and happening guy with tons going on that becomes fodder for writing.  Future topics will include commuting via bicycle to work, getting back into some semblance of healthy shape which I'll keep you posted how that comes along, and the usual general happenings and musings of this guy (I'm pointing at myself with my thumbs while smirking).

Noli in her "Luke Skywalker" spacesuit.

Tonight though I want to talk about our experience at the Lego competition on Friday.  That's right, my two oldest girls took part in an air/space craft building Lego competition at the Aviation Museum.  It was a blast and we had a really good time...I'm not going to regale you with the play-by-play of the day.  I want to fast forward to the end - where the judges called all the kids together to announce the prizes.

Evie was certain that she was going to win.  She had been building it up in her mind for a couple of weeks.  It's hard as a parent to know how to instill a sense of guarded optimism in a child without totally crushing their hope and ambition.

So there's Evie sitting in the crowd waiting to hear the winners.  She looks back at Lex and I and smiles a huge, toothless smile (she lost her two front teeth last week).  Her eyes are emitting hope and excitement.  It's impossible not to sense her anticipation.  The announce third prize...Cole...her cousin.  Evie claps proudly as Cole jumps up to the front to accept his prize. Evie looks backs at us and nods her head assuredly.  Second prize...some other guy...Evie claps again and again looks back at us, nods and smiles as if to say, "My turn's coming..."  The announcer looks at her papers and announces first prize...not Evie.

Evie's face and heart dropped.  She did a good job of keeping a stiff upper-lip, clapping politely, and holding herself together.  I could tell she was crushed and felt like crying.  She couldn't believe she didn't win.  Disappointment reigned supreme as she walked away from the crowd as it dispersed after all the prizes were handed out.  She looked dejected and lost.

It's hard as a parent to watch your child get disappointed and it's difficult to know what to say or how to coach your child through something like that.  I told her I was proud of her and that I thought her ship was wonderful.  She handled it well and what I like is that she has turned the disappointment into motivation to build a bigger and better ship for next year's competition that she has already started on.

I try to instill in the girls self-worth and pride that is not dependent on prizes or awards.  I want them to strive to do their best, I'd like it if they aimed to be the best and win.  But if they don't, I want them to still be able to hold their head up high, sincerely celebrate and congratulate the winner and then turn-around and work at improving upon their personal best.  I don't really care if they would be nice but that's not the main thing.  Neither do I buy into the school of thought that says that they're all winners and there are no losers.  In my experience there are often winners and losers throughout life.  You will have success and failure in life; it's inevitable unless you simply don't try anything.

I tell my girls that they won't always win and that they can expect to lose sometimes.  I've also assured them that they won't always lose and it's as important to be a gracious winner as it is to be a gracious loser.  I hope their character and attitude are not affected by wins and losses and that regardless they will rest assured in the confidence of who they are, what they can do, and in knowing who loves them and is proud of them, no matter what.  If Friday was any indication, then Evie's well on her way.

Evie in space - exploring the Aviation Museum prior to the competition.

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