Eight days ago Eli came home and announced he was going to run for Student Council President. Wow! Really?! Student Council? President? Wow! Cool!
I wasn’t expecting that on a random Tuesday, but we said, “Great! Go for it!” not at all knowing if he would follow through.
However, he promptly sat down and for a solid hour he worked on his speech. A speech that he didn’t need to give until the following Monday. He worked and worked on it. Then he asked for help editing it. Then he proceeded to practice it. We gave him some public speaking tips and he practiced and practiced until he had it down.
The next day was a Wednesday. He came home with his supplies to make his campaign posters. “I’ve got my supplies! C’mon Mom!”
“Um….where are we going?” I was then drug into my bedroom and was required to sit on the bed beside him while he designed and created his campaign posters. For over two hours we worked on those posters. This boy was showing some major dedication! He was on a mission! He had serious goals!
Eli wanted to do fundraisers this year to raise money to purchase more playground balls for the school’s playground and more leisure reading books for the teachers’ classrooms. Those were his visions for leaving his school a better place in his last year of elementary school. I thought those were very impressive goals.
I watched my son, who has come such a long way in the last two years…such a long way….working his tail off toward something he had decided to do. It was a joy to behold! Such initiative! So much energy and effort put into something he was working toward.
On Thursday, he went to school with his posters and hung them in strategic places where he thought the most people would see them. He came home and reported that – so far – he was the only Presidential Candidate that had posters up. Nice job kiddo.
We talked about his hard work. I praised the decisions he was making, the energy and effort he had put into running for Student Council President. We talked about how he deserved to win, simply because of the amount of hard work and dedication he’d put into his campaign….
……but how life doesn’t always work out that way.
We talked about “what if you don’t win?” Eli said he would be happy for his friend who did win, and that he would be okay. Sure he’d be a little disappointed, but he’d be okay and his friendship with the winner would be fine. Still, he said he hoped he would win.
Well of course!
Over the weekend he practiced his speech. A lot. He took the constructive criticism of things he could improve quite well, and he worked and worked at his speech until he had it as close to perfect as he could get it. It sounded great! This week on Monday Eli gave his speech to the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders. I heard from a former teacher that he had done very well giving his speech, and she was so proud!
I was so proud too! So proud to see this boy, who spent the first four years of his school career in constant trouble, exhausting his teachers, annihilating subs, coming home with bad reports every day; so many class disruptions, so many behavior reports, so many “flipped clips” and “red lights” and lost recesses and trips to the office and lost videos games at home because he couldn’t keep it together at school all day, couldn’t behave, could NOT do a good job, no matter how hard he tried…..
Yes….I am proud too.
Today was the election.
Eli did not win.
Another boy was elected Student Council President. Eli said he was fine and that he congratulated his friend. I told him how proud of him I was of him for trying, for his hard work and his effort.
I took him to Dairy Queen for a treat after dinner because he deserved something special for all that he had done to work toward his goals. And for having such a great attitude even though things didn’t work out the way he wanted them to.
He may not have won the election, but he’s a huge winner in my book all the same. Well done, Eli. Well done.