This week was tough in many ways - two of the four of us battled the stomach flu - but I think we won, at least from a psychological perspective.
My older, non-sick son had a violin concert Thursday night. It was the first time he performed in a "real" auditorium, complete with cool lighting. For awhile he's been working on a specific piece that he knew he'd play alongside high schoolers. (Those kids are big! But then, to me, some of the 5th graders are big...)
He was understandably nervous, but was pretty excited to play with so many people, too.
It was fun to hear the 5th graders, and then an inspiration to hear the middle school groups, and finally the high-school strings. It is phenomenal how quickly the kids seem to progress: will my son really sound like that in just a year / five years / seven years?
Then the finale was spectacular: over 200 musicians from 5th-12th grades, all crammed on the single stage, playing Carmen's "Habanera."
Earlier in the week (Tuesday night, to be specific) my younger son and I both had trouble sleeping. An upset stomach was the culpruit, and Wednesday was filled with barf-bucket cleaning and fevers, but Thursday was gross-free. Thankfully, he appeared fine on Thursday evening at his brother's concert, so attended school Friday.
But after school Friday, he was green. He attended gymnastics workout anyway in preparation for a meet he's been looking forward to since he competed in it last year. After each event, he excused himself to go hurl. His coach offered to perform 50 push-ups if my son didn't barf during the meet.
This morning, he bravely told us he was fine, but it was apparent he was concentrating hard not to throw up. He later admitted the already-pretty-obvious that he lied about being fine so that he could compete.
This was a meet for which I had hired a professional photographer to take shots of him on the apparatuses. This was the meet that his new aunt was coming to watch him at her alma mater. This was the meet that he hoped to best his last year's silver in pommel horse.
Alas, the photos will probably show him looking queasy and tired. His scores were markedly lower than his amazing performance two weeks ago (when he won all-around, plus 3 event golds and 3 event bronzes.) He got a couple medals today, but they were for 7th and 8th place in event finals. He didn't place in the top-ten for all-around.
But he did that while feeling severely under the weather. Instead of just calling the meet off (as I suggested multiple times) he wanted to compete. He kept going, and told us that he loves gymnastics, so couldn't possibly not compete.
His team won second place. His coach chose him to bring the banner home, because he showed dedication to the sport of gymnastics, and did not quit.
In many ways, his meet today will end up meaning more to him than his multiple wins two weeks ago. Perhaps it is okay that the photos will be of that determined moment.