Wednesday, February 19, 2014

He's my Winner!

First, I have to say how proud I am of my little dude, Carson.  He got second place in his school's reading fair and advanced to the district fair.  He didn't place there, but I think his project on Tim Tebow's autobiography was awesome.  Carson admires Tim and, in my opinion, a young boy couldn't find a better role model for how to be courageous in living out what you believe.

I've observed that the moms of reading fair participants don't play.  The reading fair circuit is a cut throat subculture that is rarely exposed to the light, but let's just call it what it is......the Mothers' Reading Fair.  Kind of a "Toddlers and Tiaras" with an academic twist.

As the science fair is the dad's stage to strut his engineering background around the school library with his 1st grader experimenting, "The Use of Polymer-Based and Polymeric Hybrid Adsorbents: How Effective are they in Removing Water Pollutants", so the reading fair is the mother's opportunity to showcase what she can do with a bottle of rubber cement, a ball of twine, some red felt, and a sheet of alphabet stickers. 

On set up day, you've got moms walking around, checking out the competition, sizing them up and mumbling doubts about how much the other children really did themselves.  Whispers of which projects might give their kid trouble fill the un-airconditioned gym air.  Still other mothers have their glue guns and tool boxes sprawled out in the open, working shamelessly....not even pretending, while the child is obliviously listening to Justin Bieber on her ear buds and kicking a bottle cap across the floor. 

I think it's hard for us, control freak mothers, to completely let go.  I remember my Mama being the captain of the ship that was my 5th grade booklet on China, which contained several pictures from the National Geographic with its lovely red construction paper cover featuring a black cut out of the country.... all held together with brass brads.  It was a beaut with my mother at the helm.       

At first, we, moms, are like...."Ok, I'm going to birth the idea and he can implement it."  Then you're like....."Woah, Woah, Woah, you're putting it on crooked and you've got way too much glue on here......Let's try that again."  And then you're like......."Ok, you know what...just scoot over and let me get it on there."  Don't act high and mighty like you've never told your child to scoot over after they messed up 6 of the 10 sheets of scrapbook paper you bought at $1.29 each.  Finally, you give them some jobs you feel comfortable letting go of....."Ok, put the dot on top of the "i" sticker and write your name, school, and grade on the back and we're done!"

This year, there were some very creative projects, but, hopefully, that was our last reading fair.  There's a 14 hour Saturday and $65 we'll never get back, but anytime your child reads a book, you get to spend the day together and there are only three emotional breakdowns and two hot glue burns bad enough to's a good time.

Hope your day is deserving of a ribbon....or at least an Honorable Mention.


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