Watching Child Compete Twice as Hard for Grandma

As a mom, I thought nothing was harder than having to sit and watch my child compete; as a grandma it's way worse

I just learned something. You know those jitters you get when your kid is competing at something and you just so badly want her to do well, but it is out of your control and you just have to watch and hope she remembers everything she’s been taught.

Here’s the news: When it’s your grandchild, it’s twice as bad.

My granddaughter, Alyssa, who is 9 and in 4th grade, was a contestant in the Lawrence K-12 Virtual School all-school spelling bee this afternoon. All-school, as in she was competing against kids up to 12th grade.

Her cheering section was me, her mom and her sister.

As we waited for the competition to begin, we kept reminding her that we are proud of her for signing up to compete and that we all know she is a really good speller.

I kept thinking “high schoolers” and preparing myself for the worst, such as going down on the first word. That wasn’t happening. For an opening word, she drew “jet.”

By Round 6, my hands were shaking. My round 10, her mom had to cover up her eyes while Alyssa spelled.

In round 12, the only other girl left in competition misspelled “receptacle.”

The championship word for Alyssa was “concentrate.” I found myself relaxing. I have said “Alyssa, concentrate,” to her at least 1,000 times. I knew she HAD to know that one.

Her smile said yes, she did know it. And she spelled it flawlessly.

So, she is now 1st place winner, advancing to regionals. We’ll be getting details on that by e-mail in a few days.


And yes, my hands are still shaking.

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