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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Best Dressed

And so for the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW, this kid won FIRST PLACE in his division at the school science fair!
Science fair project.  And all Mamas everywhere groaned and rolled their eyes.  Because we all know exactly what the science fair is.  Busy work.  That we don't really have time for.  And that is all.  But then a note comes home from school announcing that the science fair is OPTIONAL this year.  As in you-do-not-have-to-do-it.  (Now.  I must interject one thing here . . . I am not complaining that the science fair is optional; however, I don't quite understand the logic behind an "optional" science fair at a magnet school that touts itself as Math, SCIENCE and Arts driven.  But obviously it's just me.)  

And all Mamas everywhere broke out in the happy dance.  Until their 4th grader proclaims rather nonchalantly, "Meh . . . I wanna do it."  WHAT?!  You want to do a science fair project?  And you DON'T HAVE TO?!  Now, at this point I could've done what all Mamas everywhere do . . . promptly pull the I am your mother card and veto said decision.  But I didn't.  I groaned and rolled my eyes and signed the paper saying I understand the list of requirements and due dates.  Because as much as I did not want anything to do with another science fair project, I knew it was so important to validate my son's decision and support him in that.  I never want to discourage him from going the extra mile and giving his all to something.  I mean, the overachiever doesn't fall far from the tree!

And then we set out to find a science project.  That's much easier said than done.  I mean, thanks to sciencebuddies.com, it really is a breeze.  But Mason and I have vastly differing opinions on what a "good" project is (For example, one of the winning projects yesterday proved that strawberries have DNA.  Now how cool is that?!).  We went through the whole drill, filled out the survey of what he's interested in and then perused the options that popped up.  And he chose the hovercraft project.  He made a hovercraft with a balloon and a CD.  It took all of about ten minutes.  That part I liked.  But, honestly, it really was a boring project.  It just wasn't very relatable.  And after the success last year with the hot air balloon project, Mason had high hopes for this one, too.

We finished the project earlier than the due date and turned it in.  Two days before Mason was to present his project at school, he came home and told me that he'd seen some of the other boards and that another kid did the same hovercraft project.  I could tell he was a little disappointed.  And I saw the writing on the wall.  So imagine my shock and surprise when I picked him up the day of the school science fair, and he told me he won first place!  What?  WHAT?!  Y'all, I even texted one of the teachers to make absolutely sure he wasn't mistaken!  I mean, not that he would be.  But still.

Yet again, we didn't put a whole lot of anything into his project.  We never practiced a speech or talked about his presentation to the judges.  And this child who still has difficulty getting the information in his brain out through his mouth in cohesive, organized and ordered sentences, did it AGAIN.

He was so excited about presenting at the district science fair.  That was yesterday.  The little awards ceremony was at 12:00 so Ellie and I went.  And this year, his name wasn't called to receive an award.  I was hopeful, but I was not surprised.  And he was so disappointed.  Those big blue eyes somehow managed to hold the tears at bay, although they were so close I could see them and even touch them.  We gathered up his things, he changed his shoes and I took him to meet his class in the lunchroom.  He didn't say a word.  I wanted to.  There were so many things I wanted to say.  But I kept quiet.  And Ellie and I left.

When he got home, I could tell by the way he ran down the driveway that the events of the day were already nearly forgotten.  There was no mention of the science fair.  Until suppertime.  He came to the table and hesitated before he sat down.  He looked at me and asked, "Mom, are you still proud of me even though I didn't get an award today?"  I knew by the way he asked the question that he already knew my answer.  He just needed to hear me say it.  So I answered - too wordy, as usual - and that was it.

Now.  His project may not have placed at the district science fair.  But my guy was definitely BEST DRESSED!  When the students came marching into the gym for the awards ceremony yesterday, the mom beside me gasped, pointed to Mason and started telling the girl next to her how cute he was in his bow tie.  Yes.  Bow tie.  Let's just say he was the only kid wearing a bow tie.

I have to admit.  I like to see my guys dressed up.  But my big guy and I have very different opinions regarding what "dressed up" is and when and where is appropriate to be "dressed up."  I personally believe one can never be "too dressed up," and I will never pass up an occasion to "dress."  And unfortunately, my little guy is following in the steps of my big guy.  It's one of the things I've just had to let go because it's never going to happen, and those clothes are never going to be worn.  

Last year after Christmas, I bought this year's Christmas outfits for the children.  And I got Mason a bow tie.  When I whipped that baby out a few weeks ago to take our annual Christmas card picture, I thought he was going to have a coronary.  He wore it only because he had no choice, and he hated every second of it.  I even reminded him that Avery and Beau wear bow ties all the time (because they really, truly do and actually like them), but even that logic didn't work (particularly when my big guy pipes up, "But we ain't Avery and Beau.")  Sigh.

So yesterday morning I had his clothes ironed and laying out.  The bow tie.  And do you know he didn't complain not one bit?!  And when I arrived at school at noon, his shirt was still tucked in, and his bow tie was still on.  Not only was it still on, but it was STRAIGHT.  Let's just say we have issues with this every Sunday because usually he requires a "re-dressing" immediately following Sunday School.

I didn't take any pictures yesterday.  But here's one of the Christmas card rejects so you can see my BEST DRESSED in his bow tie (you can also tell in this picture that he's hating every second of it)!  



1 comment:

Kori Page said...

Yay for Mason! And believe me, Julie, the OPTIONAL science fair project at a science school would drive me bananas too, lol!