Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Smart Tournament

I'm like a discombobulated baby.

I have my days and nights mixed up, what with diving right into this blog business at the crack of 11:00 a.m. But don't you worry about Mrs. Hillbilly Mom. She has a comforting styrofoam cup of 44 ounces of Diet Coke at her left elbow.

Normally, I don't get to my basement lair much before 2:00 p.m. on the weekends and neverending summer vacation. But today, I had to take The Pony to his very first high school academic tournament. It's a JV tournament, with a lot of schools. His middle school team was moderately successful, coming in second in the conference. This is a bigger meet, with schools from far and wide.

Poor Pony. He couldn't sleep last night. He lives for academic team. It's all he's talked about since the first day of school. Last night, he stuck his head in my office and said, "I'm glad I'm not sick. Like that time I threw up from the stress of getting a flu shot."

There is excitement, and then there is undue stress. I told The Pony not to worry. "You are a freshman. Nobody expects you to carry the team. They are not going to be mad at you."

"Oh. I suppose they're going to blame Sophomore Gal if we lose? I answer most of our questions. She only answers one or two."

"They are lucky to have you. Do your best. It should be fun."

This morning, The Pony ran into the bathroom as we were ready to walk out the door. "I want to go one last time. I don't want to have to go during the competition. Besides, I don't know where the bathrooms are there."

"I'm sure they'll be marked. You coach will show you. On the way in, just ask. 'Hey, where's the bathroom around here?' They'll make sure you know."

"Being a little bit nervous is a good thing, I think." 

He also wanted to take an ibuprofen and an acetaminophen in his pocket, just in case he started to get a headache. I put one of each in a baggie with a note: 1 ibuprofen, 1 acetaminophen. I told him that under no circumstances was he to give one to anybody else, and that nobody should know that he had them, and if he needed one, to take it in private. Schools are pretty strict about drugs these days.

I dropped him off at the competition school, because that is way closer for us than driving him to Newmentia to ride back to the competition school with the team. It saved us about 40 minutes of drive time. On the way, we reviewed literature.John Milton, Toni Morrison, Dylan Thomas, Joseph Conrad, Jules Verne...that is what The Pony requested. It's his weakness. He's got science, history, and mythology locked up, and can do most of the math in his head.

It will be a tough competition. The questions are not adjusted for freshmen and sophomores. They get the same fare as seniors. It might be a low-scoring affair.

The Pony was happy as a clam when his team arrived a couple minutes after we did. They jumped out, chattering away at me and at him.

I think he's going to be okay.

UPDATE: The Pony is back home. His team was not successful in their bid for an afternoon berth in the final eight. It probably did not help that two of the three schools they competed against have enrollments of 936 and 1241. Newmentia has 303.

I am proud of my little Pony, no matter how his team fared!


Sioux said...

A parent should always be proud of their children who make an attempt at something/compete, whether they succeed or fail.

From witnessing The Pony's spirit firsthand, I am confident that even small set-backs don't keep him down for very long.

Hillbilly Mom said...

He is resilient. The excitement of his bookstore visit took the edge off the agony of defeat.

He enjoyed meeting you, and wants me to send you one of his stories. I believe he thought you were quite breathtaking.

Sioux said...

I think I have had that effect on many people--male and female alike. They see me, and then there is the sound of a sharp intake of breath.

I would love to read one of The Pony's stories. With the gene pool he's swimming in, he's bound to be a great writer...or an "enforcer" at the gas station soda fountain.

Hillbilly Mom said...

The Pony stands for truth, justice, and 80-cent refills for all. I am sending his chosen story, The Tellari Emissary.