Yesterday I watched my Princess participating in the English schools of Pretoria speech festival. Yes, she is in an Afrikaans school but they are one of two in the city which offers English and Afrikaans first language - a choice you make in grade 4 and hence, these two schools participate with the English schools in the festival. She delivered her little poem faultlessly and I am so very very proud of her.
- How doth the little crocodile
- Improve his shining tail,
- And pour the waters of the Nile
- On every golden scale!
- How cheerfully he seems to grin,
- How neatly spreads his claws,
- And welcomes little fishes in
- With gently smiling jaws!
- (By CS Lewis from Alice in Wonderland)
I really did not know how to deal with this - we stress in our home that your best is good enough. That we value being a good friend and a kind and honest person more than being the very best,. She just cried and cried, not matter what I said. She refused to believe that she did well. Then we bumped into the drama teacher who asked why she was crying and consoled her and explained the exact thing I did minutes before, and she stopped crying - and actually smiled. I am really not sure how to deal with this - why does she believe her drama teacher and not me? Why is she so very hard on herself when we clearly are not? How do you keep the balance in teaching your children to do the best they can, to strive to give their best and be the best, but in the same breath teach them that their best may not always be the very best there is?
Being a parent is never easy, and I know that some challenges will get more (thinking ahead of teenage years to follow). But this one is tough for me to handle - keeping the balance of striving for your personal best, but learning to cope with the inevitable disappointment. Both Hunter and I had a talk with her last night but I think that we need to have another because I just today though of using the Olympic games as an angle. That silver is also great, a country wide achievement and that just participating is an achievement.
And so we learn with them - all the time.