Thursday, September 8, 2011

A big day

Both kids had a lot to look forward to when the day began.  Archer was excited about his first practice with the Newz Brain competition in his GT class, and about his team's first game in a kickball tournament that will play out over the next few weeks.  Cady Gray, as is her wont, shared Archer's anticipation of his intermediate school activities, and added to them music class at her school ("I know it's not special, but I like it!" she told me) and her grandparents' arrival for the weekend.

When I picked them up today, I wanted to hear about how all those much-anticipated events had worked out.  Archer told me that his team won 6-1, helped along the way by a 3-run homer.  He came up to bat twice and grounded out both times, and played right field where he said few balls came his way.  But he's far more excited about remaining in the winners bracket than disappointed about not contributing to the team.  I had already had an update on Newz Brain via a note from the GT teacher; the practice quiz they used was from several months ago and the questions were entirely unfamiliar.  Archer said the questions were "wild and wacky" (a phrase I'm sure he got from his teacher), and that his team only got 35%, which was about average for all the teams.  Again, there was no disappointment in this result; as I might have guessed, he's more focused on the mechanics of the game, including a timer and scoring.

I found out later in the day how much all of this excitement affected Cady Gray.  We went to an open house at her school, and her teacher met us at the door with news of how much she had been talking about all these events.  The grandparents, the kickball game -- the teacher knew about all of it.  And when I picked Cady Gray up from school, her first question was whether his team had won the game.  When Archer said that they did, she cheered.

It's one of her most agreeable traits -- sharing in others' happiness, not needing to be the center of attention all the time.  Sure, she loves to be noticed and to be in the middle of things, and she gets perturbed when marginalized.  But she sees participating in the conversation and energy around events where she's not the protagonist as fulfilling, fun, and worthwhile.  I'm always struck by the generosity of that impulse.  And I hope she keeps it.

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