This year, today, he competed against seven other 4th and 5th graders in his school. This time he placed 2nd there. Actually, he did the same last year at his other school, but then the top three went to the next competition, where he won.
I was so proud of him! He did very well in the competition, and was the only person who had missed no words when it came down to the last two spellers. (They did double elimination, meaning a person had to miss TWO words [in two different rounds] before being disqualified.) If they had followed the rules of the national bee, Evan would have probably won. As it was, he lost to the boy sitting next to him, and turned and immediately shook his hand, congratulating him. To me, that was the most important part of the whole event!
I was even more proud and impressed after speaking to Evan and seeing just how much he was hurt at losing. What a sportsman-like gesture that was for an 11-year-old under those circumstances. We were given a further compliment by the lady who coordinated the bee when she told us that it was obvious that we had spent considerable time teaching Evan good manners because he was so well behaved during the bee.
He lost, but I don't think I could have been any more proud if he had won!
What is most surprising to me now, is how much I hurt for him. I will feel better when I've had more of an opportunity to talk to him about it and reiterate the "important stuff." He seemed to recover well, and was doing fine when we left.
Oh yeah, we got Josh out of class so he could sit with us and watch his brother compete. He was tolerant though not overly thrilled (I mean, he's six!) But as soon as Evan lost, Josh said, "I don't feel very good." Allie said, "But Evan did well!" "But he didn't win." Josh was empathizing! As much as they argue and fight, at school they have each other. That's something else I'm proud of and happy about. When they are out in the world, they know to always have each other's back. Wow! I'm so impressed with them both.
Allie insists that I tell you also that the boy who won had won this school's bee last year, and he looks like Neville Longbottoms in the Harry Potter movies. ;-)