One day as I walked across the playground at school, one of Avery's classmates ran up to me and excitedly started telling me about their class spelling bee. "We all stood in a line, and I came in second!" She said. "And can you guess who won? AVERY!" The first thing that struck me was how happy this little girl was that Avery had beat her, something that would have been hard for my ultra-competitive spelling bee winner to do if someone had beat her. The second thing that struck me was that Avery was going to have to compete in the school-wide spelling bee with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. I walked across the playground, looking for Avery, and found her warming up to do cartwheels with her friends. She nonchalantly told me she had won the spelling bee, shrugged her shoulders about the going up against the older kids, and let me tell her how proud I was before she went back to recess.
As the big spelling bee approached, it turned out to be the same day as a class performance in music that all the parents were invited to attend. So, either Avery wasn't nervous about the spelling bee, or she was too busy to be nervous. She sang her little heart out as a chrysanthemum (which I thought was totally ironic as chrysanthemum is the word that helps Anne beat Gilbert in the spelling bee in Anne of Green Gables), then she took off her flower crown and headed to the spelling bee.
And Avery was phenomenal. She was incredible. She lasted SIX rounds, and eventually misspelled ATMOSPHERE from the 8th grade word list! And the best part was the school live streamed the event so our family and friends could watch it from work or home, and they all sent the cutest texts cheering her on while it was happening. She seemed relieved when it was over, and when I walked her back to her classroom her whole class erupted in cheers. She's 7. And she's amazing.
Can you believe how nervous they all looked in that first picture? And here is the video of the spelling bee...man, it was intense! And, I mean, Avery is barely 8 years old. And she was AMAZING.