If you’re following me on Facebook you probably saw my post about my son winning runner-up in the K-7th grade category in the Earth Day Network’s National School Lunch Week Poster Contest. A few months ago I saw an announcement for the contest printed on the bottom of the school’s lunch menu. It’s ironic because I rarely read the menu in its entirety, let alone the text surrounding it, I normally just post it on the door for the kids on the off chance they decide they want to know what’s for breakfast or lunch on a particular day.
Once I noticed the contest I asked Andre, who has showed a love and talent of drawing at an early age, if he’d like to enter. After I explained what it was for and what he needed to draw he decided to go for it. Once he started his poster, his sister Amareah who is a year and a half younger decided she wanted to enter as well so they both worked diligently to meet the deadline.
After I submitted their posters via email they asked me fairly regularly if I had heard anything. Imagine my surprise – and utter pleasure – when I received an email informing me of Andre’s win. I think my eyes got a little teary. I was so excited that I called the kids, who were with their father for the weekend, to tell them about it.
Amareah wasn’t too happy to hear she didn’t win, but it was a perfect opportunity to teach her about being a good sport and let her know that the judges noticed they were siblings and would include a t-shirt for her in the prize package. And Anna, who could have also entered and chose not to, was upset because she wouldn’t get anything. That was my chance to tell her not to be unhappy with her choice and maybe next time she’ll chose to participate.
I’m so proud of my son for his effort, talent and win. I’m proud of Amareah for participating, her talent and being supportive of her brother, which is so hard for her! I’m also extremely proud of the baby of the family – at 5 years old Anna held in her disappointment when the box with Andre’s prize arrived the other day.
As luck would have it there were enough t-shirts for him to share with all of us! Anna got one, he gave Amareah two, he kept two and he gave his mommy one. He got a reusable coffee mug, which he promptly asked if he could put coffee in, (Uh, I bought him some hot chocolate.) and a Ziggy Christmas movie that he watched with his sisters. He was really pleased with his prized, his win and seeing his picture and the other winners on the Earth Day Network’s web page. Even better for him was finding out I sent text messages and posted about the news on Facebook, which garnered congratulations and “so proud” remarks from friends and family who care a great deal for him.
I think a lot about how to best spend time with my son, boosting his self esteem, supporting his interests and raising him to be a confident and responsible young man. Of course, I do this with my girls, but it comes a little more naturally. Being the primary parent our days are filled with a lot of structure, discipline, rules and routine so for them to see the fruits of their labor and to celebrate with them is a true reward as their mom.