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Friday, January 11, 2013
By Ann-Marie Hensley
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Today Maddy was in the spelling bee. Standing on that stage with a smile from ear to ear, she knew the words being called out by heart and her face showed how proud she was. She made it to the eleventh round with two other great spellers and finally got knocked out on the word "disingenuous". 

Years ago she had horrible stage fright. Her eyes would well up with tears, and it was all I could do during those performances not to snatch her off stage and hide her from the world.  We worked and worked on it, and I told her how hard it was for me to sit in the audience while she cried on stage.  Today during the spelling bee, I was the one with tears in my eyes.  I didn't expect the tears, but they sprung up out of nowhere and threatened to flood my face.  It was one of those rare moments when you are so happy that you can't figure out why you are crying. I hoped Maddy wouldn't see the tears from where she sat in seat eleven, and the irony of a world that had just reversed itself didn't escape me. I was watching a little girl so full of confidence, exuding pure joy and pride, and there was absolutely nothing disingenuous about it.  As she won the hearts of those watching her, I realized that she had won something much larger than a spelling bee {love l-o-v-e love}.

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