When I received a letter from the school imforming me that Aaron had been selected to take part in the floral arrangement competition as part of the Garden Festival 2010, I was pleasantly amused. He had previously brought home his art pieces and I had been impressed then, but not so much as to think he was that good.
A chip of the old block, i think, for I had done some floral arrangement professionally in a short-lived (very short lived) career in 1996 with Australian dried flowers and knew a thing or two. Still, his standard for a ten-year-old is pretty high. Thus I had high hope of him winning the competition. How naive I was.
The winner, his fellow soccer mate, walked away with $200 cash. How good was the winner? As good as anyone whose mother is a member of the school PTA’s floral arrangement club. Her own arrangement was displayed along side the principal’s and staff. Most kids, like Aaron, brought along only their pots and sponges. The winner? His arrangement was placed in a bird cage, with his own artificial props like dried palm leaves decorating it. A ten-year-old who can do that definitely had plenty of training at home.
I a sore loser, you say? Well perhaps. But I think the competition is only fair if you are judged with what you are given that day. Yes we were told as long as the arrangement uses 60% of the flowers provided, it is acceptable. But who, other than the organizer (the PTA) knows what to bring. Most of us parents have no knowledge of floral arrangement.
Still, I’m happy Aaron is given a chance to participate, his school life made richer by the experience. Was he disappointed? Nah…The affirmation he got was seeing festival visitors take photos of his creation on the day we visited. I proudly told one aunty when I saw her taking a photo that Aaron was the arranger and she was astonished. Can’t tell it’s done by a small kid, she exlaimed.
It’s the journey that counts, I tell Aaron. As long as you put in the effort to/and enjoy the journey, the outcome is immaterial (and that goes for your study, your piano…nag nag nag…).
But I think that message is more for this mother!