My kids had their track meet to end the summer session tonight and this day has become a big deal at my house. They worked hard to get to this point, meeting twice a week through the month of July totaling about 12 hours of running around the track and playing games. The astounding part to me was how much they smiled through it all. I would expect to see the kids smiling through the games. They’re fun. And I guess that I really shouldn’t have been amazed by the smiles during the laps, not with the coaches and group of young assistants that guided them along. As kids padded by on the track, you would hear the staff running right there with them, encouraging them every step of the way, asking if they could join the kids, telling them how amazing they are doing and never a negative comment was spoken.
When you’re the mom of a child that struggles with his self-esteem, you try with all your heart to just not cry when see someone go above and beyond to make him feel good about himself. Honestly, I was usually successful, but there were times when I was thankful to have my sunshades to hide behind. I really was taken aback by the sincerity of every single individual that gave their time to be at the track for these kids. I watched as a young lady ran with my son and talked with him for six straight laps. I saw my son light up when he was included as a helper. Too often I have seen him walk away from situations because he felt as though he didn’t fit in, but he always walked away from the track feeling like he belonged. To hear multiple staffers say “Way to go, Alex!” when he received his medal brought a smile to his face and filled me up with pure happiness. He felt successful. What more could a mom want out of life?
Now, speaking of astounding, I have to give my daughter a big you go girl for not only running, but for getting past a fall as well. This little girl, who’s been having anxiety over blood and freaking out every time she got the slightest scrape or paper cut, fell on the track, landing on her knee and scraping her elbow. She didn’t get off the track! She didn’t come crying for a band-aid and better than that, she didn’t come close to passing out! This is the girl that had to be taken off the school bus early once because she thought she was going to throw up when a classmate picked a scab. I honestly thought she was going to faint! When she finished her laps, she calmly showed me her scrape and stated that it hurt. Whoa! She not once complained to me while she was running. I had no idea that she had even fallen until the meet was over. I was proud of her already when she crossed the finish line after running over two miles, but when I saw that she did it without letting a scrape knock her out of the run, I was thrilled! How could this be the same girl that screamed bloody murder over a tiny paper cut?! I asked her about the fall and she said she just got up and kept on going. She said a few people asked if she was ok and if she needed help, but she told them she was ok. Oh, I was so proud of her!
You know, we go round and round this life, and hit many hurtles. If we had more people encouraging us like the coaches and assistants at the track, we would succeed far more than we could ever imagine. So often, on past track days, I ran with my kids. This year, I watched from the side lines to let them do this for themselves because I knew what good hands they were in. I am thankful for all that my children accomplished this month, for all the encouragement they received throughout it all, and simply for being their mom. After an event like today’s, I can’t help but feel that not only were my kids on the right track, but so was I... and so was my conquest. The smiles were endless... for all of us!