Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Golden Ticket

My 10-year-old is really good at spelling. In fact, he hasn't missed a word on a test since he was in first grade. And really, he didn't technically spell the word wrong. He just wrote his "b" backwards when he spelled "dlack." He hasn't made that mistake since.

The funny thing is, when I put him in kindergarten, a lot of people questioned my decision. Since he has a November birthday, a lot of boys his age are held back a year, so they can mature. People implied that I was pushing him, that I would regret my choice, that I would cause him harm.

So far, they've been wrong.

Not only is he one of the top students in his class, he's also more mature than some of the boys in his class that are a year older, boys that were held back.

It's not always easy to trust yourself when you're surrounded by negatives. But one thing I've learned from watching my son grow and excel, is that you have to believe in yourself. Trust your gut. If you don't, no one else will.

Today I've got the golden ticket to take my son to the countywide spelling bee. He and a sixth-grade girl will be representing Ballard School. I've never seen him so pumped up, so proud of himself. I'm proud too. I don't care if he wins. He doesn't have to be #1.

Getting there has been fun enough.

Note: Drew spelled out on word #38, mystique. We celebrated the day by going out to lunch and then stopping at the bookstore -- during school hours! Woo-hoo!

It was a good day indeed :)


Kelly Polark said...

That is wonderful! Congrats to your son and his parents who raised him so well! :)
My son and daughter have August birthdays and the cutoff for school is Sept 1. Some parents keep their kids one more year here as well if they are so close to the cut off date. Even though both of them are the youngest ones in class, I know I made the right decision, too. They would be so bored if I held them back! Moms know what is right for their children!

MeganRebekah said...

You know what stood out the most to me, the statement that you don't expect him to be #1. I love that philosophy. You know your son is bright and a hard worker, and your proud of what he has already accomplished (rather than pushing him to do even more or be even better). I lvoe that.

storyqueen said...

Getting there IS the best part!

Have fun watching your baby.


Unknown said...

Congratulations to both your son and you : ) This is a success story on so many levels, not the least of which is that you knew your son well enough to make an informed decision regarding his schooling that was clearly the right choice. The sky's the limit : )

Valerie Geary said...

Yeah! Spelling Bees Rock!! Have fun and good luck to your son!

Tana said...

Aww! I love this. I hope he takes the prize. Do tell!!!

Yat-Yee said...

Congrats to you and Drew. Decisions are so hard. I have a boy whose birthday makes him one of the youngest kids in class. I didn't hold him back and am still watching, weighing apples and oranges, and wondering about the decision

Sarah Laurenson said...

I started early (October b-day). And then I skipped a grade after we moved to an education-challenged state. It was difficult in some ways, but mostly, it was the right thing for me. Hardest part was starting college at 16 - 2 hours away from home. But I was ready for that, too.

Jen Robinson said...

Good for you and for Drew, Sherrie. It's hard to stick by what you know to be true, when surrounded by naysayers. Enjoy the spelling bee!!

Elana Johnson said...

Woot! Congrats to him and you!

lotusgirl said...

that's fantastic. Congratulations to him. In knowing what's best for our kids, we have to just go with what we feel. Every kid is unique, and we know our children better than other people do.

Lori W. said...

Congrats. to Drew! I hope you both have a great time. Great reminder about trusting your gut, too.

Kelly H-Y said...

Sweet!!! Loved hearing that story!

Laura Pauling said...

Gut instinct is important. My 11 year old is heading to the regional bee too. Good luck to yours! Talk about nerve wracking. At least this year we know what to expect. She'll be competing with 7th and 8th graders though, so there isn't pressure to win.

Glad you made the right choice with your son! Especially with parenting, it's good to follow your gut.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Critics are always silenced by success - good for your son!

Anonymous said...

Yay for your son, and for his mom who used her own judgment. The guidelines are okay, but every kid is so different...

I hope he has a BLAST at the bee!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Kelly: Our cutoff is December 1 and Drew is Nov. 20. But every teacher he's ever had worries that they aren't challenging him enough. So yeah, he would be completely bored if I had held him back!

Megan: I am so very proud of my son, no matter what he scores :)

Shelley: We had a great day!

KLo: Thanks! It's one of those bittersweet moments of mommy pride =)

Valerie: It was the first time for both of us and we had a blast!

Yat-Yee: It's different for each kid and I still keep an eye on him, but so far so good!

Sarah: I didn't know that about you! Very cool :)

T.Anne: He didn't take the prize, but he's already looking forward to next year :D

Jen: I'm so glad I trusted myself on this. We had a great time today.

Elana: Thank you!

Lois: It's hard with your first child to know if you're doing the right thing. I'm just glad that I know him well enough to trust myself when I make choices that affect him.

Lori: We had a great time!!

Kelly H-Y: Thanks!

Laura: Congratulations to your daughter! Drew is looking forward to next year :)

L.Diane: You can't argue with success!

Becky: We had a blast and he did well, in spite of nerves. And as he said, next year will be easier because now he knows what to expect. Yes, he's already planning ahead :)

Beth Kephart said...

I had tears in my eyes as I read this.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Congratulations to your son! I'm sure your love of reading has contributed to his success. I'll have my fingers crossed for him. :)

Hardygirl said...


I'm impressed by good spellers--it is truly a gift (one that I do not possess--thank you spell-check). I love those days when you get to legitimately play hooky.


The pale observer said...

Hi Sherrie - it's such a great feeling to be part of our kids' accomplishments and to see them strive and mostly to see their big smiles! Congrats to you and your boy!!!

Holli in Ghana

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