Friday, August 21, 2009

Cue the tight rope music

This week, at the boys' gymnastics place, evaluations were held (and YES, this post is kind of about the kids, but also about me). Every few months, the coaches evaluate the kids to see where they are skills-wise and to make sure that the class that each kid is in is still challenging for them. They last did evaluations in May, and both boys got promoted (they started their new levels in June). Then this week, evaluations were held again, which I thought was kind of soon since they'd just been promoted 2 months ago. But I guess they wanted to move up the kids that didn't move up in June so they could make room for the new folks that are signing up at the beginning of the school year.

ANYWAY, the point of all this is that my boys were VERY excited about it being evaluation time again. I tried to tell them gently that they were not going to be promoted since they've only been in their new levels for 2 months. They understood, but were still excited.

Lo and behold, Stephen got promoted. Again.

Zachary did not.

So began my tightrope walk of being super-excited for Stephen (promoted! again! for the 2nd time in 2 months! to the acclerated level! you're getting so good!) and trying to explain to Zachary that it's okay that he did not (you've only been in the "green" for 2 months. you're still learning all those tricks. you have another full year before the kindergym level and if you promote now, you'll be in the next level for a whole year. we talked about the fact that you were not going to be promoted. it's totally okay! you're are really good, but it's just not time to promote yet.).

Zachary was having none of it. He was totally fine with not promoting until we went to pick Stephen up and Stephen ran up waving his paper that told us what new class he was in. Z didn't understand why Stephen could promote and he couldn't. It was awful trying to contain my excitement for Stephen while being supportive of Zachary. I really am proud of Stephen and was so surprised that he promoted again. But I didn't want to make a huge big deal out of it because Zachary was already feeling badly. It was totally fine that he didn't promote. It doesn't mean he's not good at it. He really is good and he's a quick learner, but like I told him, he's only been in this level for 2 months and he's only got one more level before he starts the kindergym. And he's only been promoted once in the last year. But he didn't care. The fact that Stephen got promoted negated everything else that I tried to tell him. And the more excited Stephen and I were, the more upset he got.

Now, normally, I would just tell Z that that's just how things are and that it's not all about him and that his time will come. But this was genuine disappointment and I'm trying hard to not let him fall into the "middle child syndrome". But it was also hard because I didn't want to hold back our little "mini-celebration" in the car on they way home simply because Zachary was disappointed. That's not fair to Stephen. And we all have to learn to live with disappointment and we have to learn that sometimes other people get what we want.

Thankfully, things have settled down since then. This Sunday is promotion Sunday at church, so the kids will get to step-up to their new Sunday School classes. That helps. I'm just praying that next time evaluations roll around that Stephen will stay put and Z will get promoted (or at least that BOTH will be promoted).

1 comment:

KatieBug said...

This parenting gig is hard work! Knowing just what to say to keep everyones emotions properly balanced is a full time job in itself! I think you wonderfully.