La La How The Life Goes On

In It To Win It

Posted on: May 24, 2011

There are times when I realize that I am such a girl, in all the ways that aren’t really fabulous. I had one such epiphany this weekend after Bambina rocked it at her horse riding show. It was only her second show, and she’s relatively new to the sport (is it a sport?), so I didn’t want her to feel bad if she didn’t place. So I was just beating the dead horse (ha!) of “it’s just so great that you are participating, sweetie.”. And then she took first place, two second places, and won her class.

Later that evening she had a “very important” question for me, and it went something like this: “Mama, that other girl I was practicing with the other day? The one who came in last in all our events today? When I first met her I thought she was nice and I wasn’t really thinking about winning or anything. I was just feeling happy to be on the horse. Well, she started telling me how awesome she was, and how little I was, and how she didn’t need my help to untack because she knew it all. And, Mama? I decided that minute I was going to beat her, and I am so happy I did. Is that okay?”

Friends, how Stupid Girl is it that I had to think for a long minute before giving my daughter permission to be competitive? I was all, ” but I don’t want her to turn into a mean girl, and blah blah blah.”. Then I realized: there is not a father in America telling his son, “now, son, we just wish everyone on that other team well, and if they win that’s great too, and we don’t want to seem ugly by trying to beat them.”. There is no such father. So I said, “that is absolutely 100% okay, my love. You told yourself you were going to win, you practiced to win, and you won. Fair and square. As long as we don’t act mean to others (like, oh, telling them they are too small and not necessary), then have at it. Wish all your opponents good luck, and feel free to follow it up (in your head) with ” because you’re gonna need it.”

I still wasn’t certain I’d done the right thing until I told the Babydaddy what she said. He pumped his fist and said, “that’s my girl!”. Which is precisely why little girls need daddies, and why sometimes mommies need to think like daddies.

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3 Responses to "In It To Win It"

I think your response was perfect, E! As a competitive girl, I was really encouraged by my parents to do my best and if that meant winning, then even better. BUT I was also encouraged to be gracious in the process. I think I turned out pretty well with that advice 🙂 And I think that is exactly what you just taught Bambina. Well done you!

Ok, as the daddy of a little girl (2.8 years going on 15) who won’t make it to the competitive stage for awhile, that sounds like an awesome response!

I’m going to have to write that one down for the future :).

That is awesome for Bambina! And I think your response was perfect. As a mom of an 8 year old, sometimes it is hard to rein in (pun intended) her competitive spirit so she does not come off to be arrogant, but I do not want to discourage the competitive spirit at all! I want her to strive to be the best, be okay if she isn’t, and gracious to others no matter what.
PJ

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