Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Building Their Confidence


Yehuda was in a chess tournament last night and he came home ebullient! In his hands he grasped a chess t-shirt, a certificate saying he had completed the course and....a third place MEDAL!

At the beginning of the year, Yehuda announced that he wanted to join an after-school chess class.
"Chess?" I replied, as someone who has never even picked up a chess piece.
"Yeah," Yehuda continued, "They came to school and they said how cool it would be and that there would be a big tournament at the end of the year."
"Chess?" I said again.

That certainly wasn't one of the classes I assumed my kids would ever want to do. Chess was so, well, so mathematical and methodical and time consuming. What kid of mine would have the patience to sit that long and to think methodically about his moves?

The answer, I soon learned, was Yehuda. I signed him up, grumbling that we might be wasting this money. I assumed he was going to go a few times and then declare himself bored.

Well, it's now been an entire school year, and he stuck it out and enjoyed it each and every week!

Last night was his finale - a chess tournament. I didn't exactly understand what they were doing - Yehuda had been explaining to us something about rounds and points for weeks. I just nodded, and hoped that he was enjoying himself. And then, last night he came home with a medal and with a sense of pride that was worth every single shekel that we spent the entire year.

I simply love when my children come into their own - in their own little ways. We certainly didn't push him into chess, and yet, he's discovered something on his own that he really enjoys. It's something, as well, that separates him from his brothers. Yehuda lives in a house with a LOT of boys - and a lot of comparisons and competition. I love that he has something that's all his - and something that makes him feel accomplished and proud of himself. He said to me last night that he didn't care what he won - he had just wanted to win something.

And win he did. With confidence, self expression and individuality. Way to go Huda!

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