Well played, tiny human.

Now that Christmas break is over, things are getting serious at school; the kids are taking CBA tests every other week, Honors choir has begun practicing for their spring concert, After-School has begun dance tryouts for their spring competition…and UIL letters went out.

UIL is short for University Interscholastic League (yes, I had to go look that up) and is a district-wide competition at your grade level in a variety of subjects. Last year Gracie was recruited for expository writing, music memory (which is like Name That Tune for classical compositions, with a little Jeopardy thrown in), and some sort of advanced math. They have other subjects, ranging from art history to spelling to creative writing to…heaven knows. I think there were 20 categories being called out on competition day last year. And now it’s time to start drilling. I mean, practicing. One or two teachers tackle each subject your school offers (not every school offers every subject) and they meet with the kids selected one day a week after school. So with Gracie’s three subjects from last year, plus dance, plus chess club and reading club…she had a busy spring. And she reveled in it.

So I was a little worried earlier this week when her partner-in-crime’s mom texted me to ask if Gracie was doing UIL this year. I knew that if she had joined, the news would have been the first thing out of her mouth when she came home. Still, I asked her. “No one talked about it,” was her answer. With a little more digging, I found out from my fellow mom that her nerdling had only signed up for art history. Either the teachers were scaling back on 4th graders, or else…well, we couldn’t figure out the “or else.” There’s no way our special little snowflakes would be left out of math competition. Any other subject and, okay, you’d have an argument. Possibly a good one – I know how my daughter can be at times. sneeze:lazy:cough But to not do math? Uh…Houston, we have a slight itsy-bitsy problem.

I told Gracie that J. had signed up for at least one UIL class. A look of worry crossed her face for a minute. I waited for the tears or the anxiety or for her to beg me to text Ms. G. Instead, my little nerdling recovered, shrugged her shoulders and said she’d figure it out the next day at school.

She shrugged her shoulders and said she’d figure it out.

I know grown-ups who wouldn’t have handled that potential crisis-of-self half so well! I’m not sure if Gracie was just so confident in herself, and her darling status in the system, or whether she figured (correctly) that there was no point worrying about it until she had the facts. The evidence, as she loves to point out. It was a reaction I very much appreciated in the moment, even as I realized that it meant something kinda biggish: my baby is growing up. One small shrug at a time.

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One Response to “Well played, tiny human.”

  1. Kathy Says:

    Excellent response. Now, you will have to let us know what she find out. 🙂

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