As Dave has shared in the previous post, there was an estate party in our neighbourhood last month, and we attended the event.
The event was pretty well organised, with lots of family friendly activities and games, many suitable for young kids. Ally might have been a bit too young to participate in some of them but it was all good fun and we were glad she had enjoyed herself.
There was also a colouring contest for kids. To be honest, we didn’t think of enrolling her in the contest, firstly because she was too young (although there was no age limit set for that). Secondly, I didn’t think of registering her for it.
However, she participated in the activity, as we thought that even if she didn’t participate in the contest, the organisers would probably not chase her away for occupying a seat and doing some coloring right?
Which was what she set out to do.
And oh boy, I didn’t really expect her to sit down there for more than 30 mins to colour it.
And when she finally finished it, she was very excited, looked up to us and said “I’ve finished!”
At that point in time, the first thing that came to my mind was, “Great, we can finally go off now!”
I took a look at the piece and was pretty impressed with it. Not that it looked great, but she had completed the entire piece. Unlike most other kids, hers was fully coloured. Well, the colour coordination might not be fantastic, but I thought that her colouring has improved.
By “improved”, I meant that she managed to colour within the coordinates of the line. In fact, she had “colouring issues” from what I could recall. In her monthly updates from the childcare centre that she was attending, her teachers commented that she tends to colour all over the place, and not within the boundaries of the line. I didn’t think too much about it, as I thought that she’s still a kid and it’s a matter of time that she knows how to do it a bit “nicer”. However, if truth be told, it was a bit annoying to receive the same feedback for a couple of months. Her grandparents also bought her colouring books so that she could do some colouring at home, as a toddler activity.
It’s been a while since I sat down with her and did some colouring, so I was pretty impressed with her progress.
The organisers walked to us when they saw that she has completed and asked if we were keen to enrol her in the contest. Well, sure, why not? So we agreed, but we weren’t really expecting anything. “You will be informed if your child has won and there will be a prize- giving ceremony thereafter”. Wow sounds great, but really, I didn’t think she was going to win anything and were planning to leave the event with Dave thereafter to get some lunch.
A short while later, we got a call from the organisers and they informed us that Ally has won a prize for the colouring contest! Dave and I were pleasantly surprised. Luckily, we were still near the estate so we could still head back for the prize-giving ceremony.
Ally had came in third in her cateogry (under 6 years old, think there were only 2 categories) and she was the youngest to win the prize. We received a cash voucher and even though the monetary value was small, that didn’t matter. We were really proud parents when Ally accepted the prize from the presenter. Having said that, I doubt she really knew what was going on.
That priceless moment when your kid won an award.
Dave and I were all smiles and informed our respective extended families. They were also happy and proud of Ally.
At the end of the day, when the entire saga unwind, I thought back about the events of the day and wondered.
Was I only a proud parent that moment Ally won the prize?
Not really. I mean I was really proud of her but even if she didn’t win anything , I would have been proud of the improvements and progress that she has made, and especially, the patience to finish colouring the whole piece, which I think the bulk of the kids didn’t manage to.
That itself, I thought, was more priceless than winning it.
To be honest, I don’t know whether this was a once off thing, perhaps if she were to participate in other colouring contest, she might have been impatient and walked away after 5 mins.
That set me thinking. Going foward, there would most probably be more of these competitions, contests, whatever you call it and name it. There might be moments that she wins something, but also occasions that she doesn’t. But despite that, we will always strive to be that set of supportive parents, who are with her to share her successes and those down moments.
Our children are not machines. We don’t seek to mould out children that becomes trophy seekers or discount them just because they don’t do as well. And as parents, it is important that we also acknowledge that there are certain things that they don’t do well, and help them to either overcome them, or to understand their limitations.
Well, Ally is only 3 now so there’s still a long way to go.
But for now, we are just still basking in the moment.