The local university had its annual kids' jam tonight. They load up the indoor stadium with booths for various sporting teams: basketball, golf, baseball, football, swimming/diving. They put a big bouncy slide in the middle of the stadium floor. The kids get free t-shirts and popcorn. We hadn't been before, but the Boy brought home the flyer from school, and it was free, so what the hey. The Girl, who is mascot-phobic at the moment (as proved by the blood-curdling screams with which she greeted Clifford the Big Red Dog at this year's Scholastic book fair), so she stayed home with Grammy.
The Boy bumped into one of his school friends, so they ran around playing the games at the booths and getting autographs, and then we had to get in line for The Fish. The swim team, those bastards, were giving away goldfish as prizes. We stood in line for EVER. Good news for me: The Boy didn't win a fish. Bad news for me: The Boy was really sad about not winning a fish. So there were some tears and despair, and that was fine for a while, but then I told him that I understood he was disappointed but that 1) he already had fish at his Papa's and 2) there were lots of other fun things to do so 3) he needed to let me know whether he could take a big breath and pull it together so that we could stay, or whether he was going to keep whining about the fish, in which case we were leaving.
We stayed, and I took his picture with the Large Mascot, and then told him he just had time to go get some popcorn before they closed up. They were getting ready to draw the last prizes of the evening, and I got distracted because I ran into an old coworker, and the Boy took the opportunity to wander back into the arena even though I hadn't planned to do so. And dang if he didn't win the big final prize of the evening. He was so thrilled. And I reminded him that he wouldn't have won if we hadn't stayed, and we stayed only because he was able to make the choice to rise above his disappointment. That was the big prize.
But the foam head's pretty fun, too.