It is fascinating to me to consider all the ways people are different; all their wonderful attributes that make them unique and valuable. I love times when people can shine. The end of the school year seems like a shining time.
Last week we had the cast party to honor the drama kids. One of the boys received one of the booster club scholarships. When he was accepting the award, his peers called out for him to give a speech. Drama kids rarely need much of an invitation. His speech made me happy. It is wonderful to see his confidence which coincided with the love and support mirrored on the other kids' faces. After his speech, all his friends gave him a standing ovation. I love this stuff.
We also attended Night of the Arts at GPHS. Braeden and his friend Jadon were the masters of ceremonies. I challenge you to find two boys more comfortable in front of microphones and crowds. Emma sang a few songs with her friends and then she sang and played on the piano a song she had written. She looks about as comfortable as a deer in the headlights in front of a crowd and microphone but I was proud of her music.
Mark ventured over to where the robotics team had set up a booth. He went away with stars in his eyes. They had a Lego contest. There was a tub of Lego bricks and you could make whatever you wanted then it would be judged. Mark of course parked himself and got straight to work.
Adam and I roamed into the gym where visual arts were displayed. There were offerings from the local elementary schools and displays of photography and paintings and sculpture. We ran into one of the very shy and quiet girls that is on the crew of most of the plays. Her very shy and quiet mother was there too. Adam and I admired the girl's photography that was on display. Adam asked all the right questions and knew the right compliments to give. The girl was positively glowing. (And her photography was really good.)
Some boys from the CAD class were there. One of Braeden's friends, Austin, was among them. I loved the pride on his face when he was showing us the 3D printers making things like Lego bricks.
Finally it was time to go. Mark didn't want to leave because he was sure that he would win the Lego contest. Adam finally said they could give his prize to Braeden if he won, because we were leaving. (We hadn't had dinner. We were hungry.) Mark zipped over to the robotics booth and pointed out his brother to them, for potential prize giving purposes.
I was considering the extent of Mark's self confidence as we walked out the school. Then he said, "It's not really fair, Mom."
I said, "What isn't?"
"It's not really fair to everyone else. I mean, Legos are my life. No one else has a chance of winning."
Then he started telling me about the other amazing things the other kids in the Lego contest had made. I said, "They're like you. Maybe Legos are their life too."
He thought about that awhile and then conceded that maybe he wouldn't win. Maybe he'd only get second place.
When Braeden got home, Mark was long since in bed but Braeden had a package of M & Ms for him. Mark had won! The next morning I congratulated Mark. He said, "Yeah. I was kind of hoping for a certificate though."
Perhaps one of my favorite things about Mark though is that the confidence he feels extends to his confidence in people he loves too.
He was remarking on the poor spelling of something he saw (it had been written by a non native English speaker) and I told him not to criticize because some of my favorite people were not good spellers. He gave me a questioning look. I said, "Braeden can't spell."
Mark said, "Yes he can! His handwriting is just messy."
"No," I said, "he really can't spell."
Mark said, "Well. He is a very good pronouncer."