Sam stood nervously behind the podium. It was his turn next. Think! Think! What had Miss Maggie and he practiced for the past two weeks?
Stand up straight.
Shoulders back.
Approach the microphone, lean in.
No inappropriate comments.

He desperately wanted to do what Miss Maggie had taught him and win the spelling bee. Miss Maggie knew. She had worked with Sam during his recess for two weeks. She knew that there was a bigger win at stake. Sam, being on the autistic spectrum, was very socially awkward. And this was his opportunity to shine.

“The word is hyperbole.

He had this. Sam responded, “H-y-p-e-r-b-o-l-e”
It was correct!
He wanted to jump and down, fist pump air, yelp. But no, that is not what they had practiced. He sat down nervously and took a deep breath.

Now it was down to two contestants. The tension in the room was palpable.
The final contestant approached the podium and confidently spelled the word.
“Sorry, but that is incorrect!” There was a brief pause before Sam realized that he won the spelling bee.

Noise filled the room. Everyone was clapping and cheering, including his parents, classmates, teacher and principal.

When he got  to Miss Maggie, he exclaimed, “I won! I won!” As Miss Maggie pulled him in for a hug, a tear streamed down her cheek, for she understood what the bigger win was today.
It was Sam’s victory over fear, anxiety, doubt and discomfort. Although there wasn’t a trophy for this accomplishment, it made Sam a champion in a bigger way.

What is your  “bigger win” story?  Please share!


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