School Sports Day!
Darlek had her school sports day last week, luckily the sun shone, which is a minor miracle considering the weather we’ve had recently. Sausage and I trekked over there to cheer her on complete with waterproofs just in case. I took my shouty voice with me too so I could cheer her on, proper overenthusiasic mum stylee.
We shuffled in alongside the other parents who were watching and waving at their kids and once I’d allocated us a space I plonked myself down cross legged on our canvas shopping bag and hoped that the slightly soggy field wouldn’t soak through to my jeans. Sausage decided I looked like a decent place to sit and perched on my lap until my legs went dead and I thought I’d fall over if I stood up.
It was lovely to see Darlek sat with a group of girls chatting and chanting the names of the kids bombing past me full belt, all legs and flailing ponytails. Nothing makes me happier than to see her in the thick of things.
I know how important these events are to Darlek, she is extremely competitive. Dunno where she gets it from! (there’s a wry smile for you). The day before she’d been stood in our living room whirling her arms around, jumping up and down, ‘practising’ and saying how good she was at the hurdles and about how she’d definitely win. Although I do love a positive attitude, I had to remind her that it probably wouldn’t do her any favours to tell her class mates that she was going to win, and that she was really, really good at running. A little modesty goes a long way! Anyway, she grinned and said she knew, but that she’d win anyway. I have to admire her spirit, even if I do cringe at her over-confidence a little sometimes.
So, when she stood at the starting line, poised, little fists clenched, glaring at the finishing line, I wished her speed and that she’d be a gracious winner. At the very least I hoped she’d just enjoy the thrill of the race and not be heartbroken if she didn’t come first. Either or would be fine. Then she was off!
Darlek thundered past me, with the other kids, keeping up nicely; throwing herself over the hurdles; balancing the rubber ring on her head, swinging the hula hoop over her head and back to the ground and then headed straight for the finish line – legs all over the place like a panicked giraffe. I yelled ‘Come on Darlek! Go go go-go-go! You can do it!’ (obviously I didn’t actually call her a Darlek, I’d never live that one down).
To my shame, I can’t actually remember if she won that race or not, I think she came second. I know she came first in one of the races, maybe it was the egg and spoon race. What I do remember is how proud I was of her, giving her all. She didn’t cheat either as far as I could see. Totally focused on her goal, running like her life depended on it…..’Go girl!’ I’m grinning as I type.
The sun came out behind the muggy clouds and it felt like an oven had been switched on, Sausage complained that he was thirsty and bored so I had to ply him with a bottle of water I’d bought and tickle him to keep him entertained. It was nice, although it did go on for aaaaages. By the end of it all the canvas bag wasn’t doing its job very well, and I was looking forward to ambling off, but I did enjoy sitting out in a field for an hour or so. Some of the kids are so cute, many parents obviously do what I do and buy oversize games kits so that the kids grow into them and they get proper use out of them, so they look tiny in huge pairs of shorts and massive floppy tee shirts.
On the way hone Darlek very proudly displayed her ‘1st ‘and ‘2nd’ stickers on her tee shirt. She did say that she thought the teachers hadn’t judged one of the races correctly and that she thought she should have come first, but that’s just Darlek. As she gets older I’m hoping she won’t worry so much about these things. We lost one of the stickers on the walk and had to backtrack to find it. Can’t be doing with losing them now can we! I suspect she’s put them in the treasure box that she hides under her bed. This treasure box is stuffed with the merit certificates she’s gained over the years, her certificates for fire safety training when the fire brigade visited, drawings she’s proud of and probably Squinkies. She fell out with her actual dedicated Squinkie box after her dad stuck a label on the box that said ‘Stinkies!’ to wind her up. Bad dad!
As a final thought, I do hope she realises that these treasures and certificates and achievements are worthwhile, but they aren’t everything. If she doesn’t always win, it’s just the way life is, the way it will always be. The important thing is to run and live and love like your life depends on it, which it does. Sometimes it’ll work out and you’ll be a winner, sometimes it won’t. The trick is to keep trying and put your heart into everything, because that’s what matters.
I suspect I’m writing that as if I’m storing up a little life lesson for her when she’s older and actually reads this stuff. Can’t help it. I watch her pegging at full speed through her 7 year old life, and wonder at what she’s learning sometimes. I hope it’s the character building sort of stuff that will stand her in good stead when she doesn’t have her mum stood on the sidelines cheering her on anymore. Although I’ll always be there in spirit, jumping up and down, waving my arms like an idiot and shouting ‘Go Gettem!!!!’