Several times over the past few weeks as my two older children have met with some satisfying personal achievements, I have expressed to them how proud I am of what they have accomplished. And indeed I am proud! They are such awesome kids! But as I reflect on that sentence--"I'm so proud of you!"--it occurs to me that perhaps the best time to speak it is not following a successful outcome. Because what I am most proud of is in fact not the outcome, but the effort, dedication and diligence that preceded it. And even if the outcome were not quite so impressive, I would still look with pride upon these fine young people who live in my house and whom I have the privilege of watching--day in and day out--as they work, learn, and grow.
So tonight as that familiar phrase started once again to form on my lips, I caught myself short, changing the word "proud" to "happy": "Honey, I am so very happy for you!" The pride was there before, has been there all along, and I daresay will continue to be. What I felt tonight was not so much pride as it was happiness--the happiness of watching someone I love experience the pleasure that comes of effort acknowledged and rewarded.
Why am I so happy? Well, just in case you're wondering, here's a quick summary of what these very cool kids have been up to:
Caitlin participated in the IGSMA (Illinois Grade School Music Association) Solo & Ensemble competition last weekend, earning Division 1 (superior) ratings for both vocal and piano performance.
Trevor went undefeated this weekend in the open (highest) division of the Mid-America Chess Tournament in St. Louis, ending up with two wins and three draws, placing fourth overall and bringing home a nice ratings boost as well as a sizeable cash prize (think one President McKinley and two Franklins and you're in the ballpark).
I'll say it again: I am one happy mom!