I got the book formatting thing worked out and I could not tell you how it happened, nor could I repeat the steps even on a bet, but all systems are "GO" for a printed proof to land in my hands by Wednesday. Whew. Who knew page numbers could make someone grind their teeth so much?
And the wrestling! Mr. G and Mr. B had their first meet of the season all day Saturday. It was a mixed bag of a day. Last year Mr. G destroyed everyone in his path. This year I signed him up as "intermediate" (because he'd hurt beginners and I cannot bear to watch that) and he lost every match. The kid took it really hard, he's the kid who becomes an immediate victim and wants to quit when the going gets tough. He gritted it out the second match to lose in points, and then lost his third in the second round. It took guts to get back out there when you're nine and not mentally tough yet. But knowing how athletically gifted Mr. G is, this is the best thing for his development--he's got to figure out how to knuckle down, get that determination thing going because sports is as much mental as physical.
Now I know some of you are all "But Green Girl! He's nine! Lighten up!" Ah, yes. But this is the cross my son bears in sports and in other areas of his life. For example, this fall he was bombing his spelling tests. Instead of studying--like, at ALL--he told his teacher he had too many responsibilities at home so he just would have to get bad grades. See what I mean about quitting? I love my kid too much to let him become a perpetual quitter. The going gets tough, he's got to knuckle down and GO HARDER. Mr. G's teacher got a response back indicating that no, Mr. G has hardly any "responsibilities," we will be studying harder and if things continue to go south, we'll kick out of basketball so he has plenty of time to commit to his academic success.
Back to sports: I'd never make a kid play anything. I would, however, hold them to a commitment to an 8 week season if they wanted to sign up. I would not let my kid let down their team and coaches (unless he was injured or the situation was somehow abusive, but that's a rare exception).
So, Saturday we had crying. Big tears. A "hurt" arm. We talked about doing your best and not giving up. We talked about how wrestling is very hard, and it's easy to quit and walk away. We talked about how failure teaches you more than success ever will and next match will go better. We talked about how no one is mad at him for losing, we only feel bad when we see him quitting because we know he's better than that.
And we talked about it for the rest of the weekend. "I love you, and I love watching you try your hardest, win or lose." Mr. G's coaches will help him with the technical edge to win next time, our job is to encourage him on the homefront. Hopefully this experience knocked him down enough pegs that he'll pay closer attention to what his coaches are telling him.
The good news is that he is excited for practice on Tuesday. We told him the best wrestlers have really tough guys in the weight classes around their own--or to put it in Bible terms, "Iron sharpens iron. Mr. G, you keep wrestling easy kids, you'll never get better. Wrestle tough kids and you'll be great."
Then Mr. B had his very first match ever after only 3 weeks of practice. We held our breath. Lord, don't let him get stuck 30 seconds in. Please God, don't let him take such a pounding that he'll be demoralized for life. Because you know that Mr. B--big-hearted and smiley and happy all the time. He's not mean enough to wrestle.
But then? Turns out he was! He won his two matches and took home a first place medal! And he wrestled pretty well for a beginner--and thank God he wrestled beginners who were at his level. By fifth grade it's tough to find true "beginners." Oh, he was so glad and we were so relieved!
A whole day of watching two kids wrestle--my whole body was clenched up and exhausted by the end of it. No other sport wears me out like wrestling. Not even cross-country where you have to run around to watch the runners. I couldn't wait to crawl into bed after we got home.
Then fresh blasts of arctic air picked up Sunday, but by then I was stir-crazy enough that I bundled up anyway, strapped on snowshoes and headed for the woods. My cheeks still burn a little this morning from the windbite, but my whole body is glad I got outside and stretched my limbs and communed with trees and inhaled fresh air. It was below zero and gusty while I stomped through the snowdrifts, over the creek, alongside the prairie. Crossing the field was miserable, too, but I'm stuck inside for the next few days at least so I had to take advantage.
Spill it, reader. What have you gritted out recently?