Monday, May 26, 2014

SO Much Awesome

Last weekend, Wren participated in the county's club archery tournament at the end f the indoor archery season. She's been struggling with even hitting the target at her distance (I think 18m), not to mention handling the bow and getting the correct shooting posture and sequence. It doesn't help that she is literally the smallest kid in her club, either. She started the season trying to shoot the recurve bow like her big sister, but was convinced by the archery coaches that going with a Genesis Mini compound bow would be a better choice at this point. There were lots of tears and some stomping around about that, but once she hit the target a couple of times, I think she was convinced.

 So when she entered the warmup phase of the tournament, and failed to hit the target with any of the eight arrows she shot....well, the disappointment was evident on her face. However, she has never once thrown a fit or gotten overwhelmingly upset about her difficulty, not the entire season. It's odd to me, since I know she is very aware of what the other kids are doing, and she is definitely the type of kid to want what others have. My job, though, was to stay supportive, tell her I knew she was doing her best, and....just tell her how much I loved watching her shoot. The more I thought about it, and watched her, the more I realized just how amazing she was....not getting upset, just hanging in there and getting back up to the shooting line, time after time after time. Being happy for her small successes ("hey! It bounced off the ground and hit the target!"), and just enjoying the activity. I didn't teach her that, I don't think. She just came to it, enjoying an activity she has wanted to do since she saw the movie, 'Brave'.

It was impressive to watch that afternoon, her 'try'. And she was handsomely rewarded for it, with this:

A bullseye. Amazing. 

Her reaction was priceless (STUNNED!!), and even the parents around us cheered for her. Just a wonderful end to the archery season for her.
 Wren's coach, Melody, takes her picture with the bullseye shot!

And Wren happily tells her scoring partner that, yes, she DID shoot that arrow!

She also managed to earn her 'archer' rank patch, and that really motivated her to keep going. I'm so proud of her, not for the bullseye, although that was great, but for the quiet persistence she showed even in the face of failure. For repeatedly getting her bow and arrows and stepping up to take another shot, for assimilating as much coaching help as she was able to (which wasn't always much, she's 8 after all), and for trying to apply it to the next shot. For not getting frustrated, or wanting to quit. I'm so proud of her for all of that. I admit I didn't expect it, and I am thrilled to see that this orientation exists in her.

It's an understatement that sometimes your kids surprise you.

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