Tap-dancer, mother of the Climber (15) & the Cherub (12), and girlfriend of Mr. Fixit.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Bronze and Gold
Both boys were excited, and a little bit nervous, seeing as it was their first time. In fact, Cherub, whose competition ran first, looked a little bit ill as he sat with his Level 2 team-mates waiting to start, although allegedly this was partly caused by Fixit's neck-or-nothing get-me-to-the-gym-on-time driving.
Cherub has been doing gymnastics for less time than Climber, and whilst he enjoys it, he has not perhaps found it as easy or approached it with the same passion as his older brother. I was therefore very proud of his efforts on all the equipment. He was actually pretty competent, and I suspect if he had a bit more competition nous, he would have scored better for those things they look at: sticking when you land a jump, pointing toes, straightening legs, extending through the whole body, remembering to 'present' at the beginning and end of every routine. It's a bit like watching him at tap-dancing - he's perfectly capable of doing the steps really well but he often goes the low-key casual approach and doesn't cross ts or dot is.
He was awarded the basic participation medal - a bronze - and looked a bit crestfallen. He had been dreaming of some silver or gold. However, he was feeling okay about his performance, as well he should. I was very impressed with him, and with how much he's improved since I last watched him.
We went home for a couple of hours and then returned to the venue for Climber and the Level 3 competition.
Climber also complained of feeling sick before the comp started, despite my excellent chauffeuring. Butterflies. However, he was extremely composed as he went about his various routines, and seemed to my untrained eye to be doing a very good job, both in abilities and composure. He did what he had to do neatly, and was meticulous in sticking and presenting. There was a slightly older boy on his team who was also very impressive in his abilities and composure, and I think set a very good example to Climber and the rest of his team-mates.
At the end of the comp came the presentation. Each team coach grabs the appropriate medals for their team, so ours walked over with 2 gold, 2 silvers and a bronze. Of course all the kids were watching with eagle eyes and trying to work out which of the medals belonged to whom. Both Climber and the older boy received gold medals, much to their delight.
Then came the individual presentation for the top three scorers. The older boy from our team took first place, then a girl from another club received silver and then blow-me-down-with-a feather, they called Climber's name for third! We were so surprised and proud and happy that I forgot to photograph that part of the presentation, but it soon dawned on us that with 2 of the highest scorers on our team there was a good chance our team might have done well in the team placings .... Yes indeed! First place! Another gold for Climber, and the older boy was dubbed the Usain Bolt of the night with his three golds! Climber was shining with pride and happiness and success beyond his wildest dreams.
We were feeling incredibly proud and happy for Climber, but by that stage poor Cherub had begun to feel more and more let down about his bronze medal and became inconsolable. Luckily both Fixit and I were there so we took it in turns to congratulate one son and comfort the other. And their coaches came over and told Cherub how well he'd done too. In the end, after all the celebrations, I drove Cherub home in my car while Fixit and Climber went off to get fish and chips, and I used that reliable assuager of broken hearts, a bar of chocolate, to restore some equanimity.
The next morning, the despair and the glory were still very much apparent. Fixit and I were awoken by a sad Cherub at our bedside saying tearfully I'm still really sad about my medal. Half an hour later, we heard Climber before we saw him, as he entered the kitchen, wearing his pyjamas and his three medals, which clanked proudly and splendidly round his neck. We talked more comfort and sense into Cherub and he took his medal to show-and-tell at school where it was much admired. I think we're all good now. And there's always next time. Meanwhile, my Climber is having the best week of his life. Soccer star one weekend, gym star the next, and his long-standing obsession with the monkeybars paid off in full!
NB. All photos featuring the children are now classified as "private" on Flickr and can only be seen by my Contacts (that is, if you click through to Flickr for a better look at them). If I know you or your blog I am happy to be friends with you on Flickr . Joining is free and easy, and you can store up to 200 photos there.