Last year after Jesse's race I heard a group of the boys from his class enthusiastically comparing notes on what place they had come. "What did you come Jesse?" one of the boys asked. "I was in between!" Jesse declared, as if it was the best thing in the world. "I wasn't at the beginning and I wasn't at the end, but I was in between."
I thought that was fantastic. He was entirely happy being a participant and actual placing didn't matter to him at all. Schools of course make an effort to tell the students it's all about doing their best, but inevitably it comes down to winners and losers, which team has the most points and so on. There's a place for rewarding excellence of course, and it's great to see kids who excel at running or jumping or hitting a ball.
But I must admit to feeling a bit sick watching the (often) smallest kids trailing so far behind the 'winners'.
|here's my boy running "in between"|
|and here's someone who ran every time we tried to put on his hat|