It is the school Olympics. The day has finally come. Tension is running high between the competitors; the spectators (AKA moms) look around in panic, wanting and waiting for their children to cross the finish line without a tear spilled.
The participants get into their positions. They look at each other, some with a fierce look while others are thinking about PAW Patrol, Blaze, and ice cream. The pressure is on. Their coaches (mostly fathers) are in the background whispering some last tips.
3, 2, 1, GO!
They run with all their might.
The family members scream out their names and enthusiastically encourage them. They cross the finish line and their number one fans are there to congratulate them. Win or lose it does not matter. They did it!
Fast forward: The Parents’ Race, ladies first (help us all). I decide, you know what, I can do this.
I get myself together, prepare myself mentally, and run like never before, but still with caution, okay, not too quickly. I get to the finish line, look behind me and beam with joy. I was 4th last, I beat 3 other moms. Yes, I beat them and imagine my delight when I saw that they were all thinner than me. Now I really felt as if I had accomplished something in my life.
I walk over to my son: “Did you see Mommy run, boy?”
“Yes, you lost?” His expression was not one of disappointment though, but rather still content, a slight relief.
Now the men’s race. Oh my, speak about being competitive!
The men all line up, barely enough space for them all. Some had been waiting for this moment. The men, described as a species at this point in time, take this rather seriously as they compete to see who will be the Alpha male. Nothing could break the tension.
We hear the whistle.
And they sprint, shoving each other out of lanes, some tumbling or toppling over (gracefully of course), with only some making it to the finish line.
My son’s face lights up as his father dashes over the finish line and comes in 1st. A child’s dream has come true and his father’s superhero status has been reassured (how will I ever compete now?).
The thing is…every child’s face lit up. Both when their mother or their father participated. Despite whether they won or whether they lost, the kids valued this moment. They valued this day and a new memory was made.
What I have realized is that our active involvement makes all the difference. It is tiring and we cannot always be the one that joins in, but once in a while let’s kick that ball, run that race, or play hide and seek.
So let me go and train, as I am planning on coming in 4th from the front next year. GOALS!