It’s becoming an Easter tradition for our family to participate in David’s preschool race and Easter egg hunt. Tom ran last year but this year he volunteered to help. Which reminds me, sometime after the half-marathon, Tom and I retired from running and all other forms of exercise. We just decided to surrender; our kids are killing us. Perhaps we could join a gym or sign up for a race and get back in shape, but instead we decided to have another baby. So, retirement it is.
Instead of running and racing, we’re living vicariously through the successes and failures of our children.
This year would be different, we knew it. David was older, more mature, and he was wearing his fast shoes.
This is Tom giving David a pre-race peptalk. Something along the lines of, “YOU ARE A KRIEGER! IF YOU DON’T WIN YOU DON’T EAT! MAKE DADDY PROUD! Oh, and have fun, Daddy loves you.”
Ok, before I tell you what happened at the finish line, I have to tell you what happened at the starting line.
There was a long line of enthusiastic kids and their parents, and there was some confusion at the start. I was standing downfield to take photos, but I’m told that the kids on the left were told to go — for this untimed, unmeasured, dash — a lot earlier than the kids on the right.
See the woman in this photo below with her hands up? She’s a friend of mine, someone who values quality control and fairness. I’m pretty sure her hands are raised in disbelief at the head start the kids on the other side of the field got.There’s also a small chance she was cheering for her daughter.
I’m also pretty sure we under-estimated how much we pepped David for the race. See how he’s grabbing the kid in the grey sweatshirt? The one with a giant smile who’s running for the sheer joy? I think David was grabbing him to try to get in front of him. And I don’t think he was able to; I think the little boy sprinted ahead. And when that happened I stopped taking photos because David suddenly was frozen in the middle of the field, devastated, as the rest of the kids ran by.
For the second year in a row, David got a DNF. But he did make it farther down the field.
I ran out to him and wrapped him up in a hug. He was crushed that he hadn’t finished first, he hadn’t won the race.
With this little window into his tender heart, I made a mental note that Tom and I need to keep this in mind when he gets involved in more competitive sports and academics. Especially because David’s gene pool doesn’t include a lot of ball-handling skills. He will be really, really good at drinking Java Chip Frappuccinos, losing his keys, and learning keyboard shortcuts, though. If Tom and I have anything to do with it, David will be using command+C before kindergarten. Command+O by first grade.
Unlike last year, David accepted a medal. Or, as he called it, a plastic. How very literal of you, son. He wore it all day, and on Easter, too. And he’s probably wearing it while you’re reading this.
When we saw Tom’s parents the next day, his dad said, “David! Did you win a medal!?” And David responded, “NO! I won a race!”
So very, very literal.
We didn’t dwell on the DNF because the next activity was the Easter egg hunt.
My sister and her family joined us, and for maybe the first time ever, my kids got to hang out with all their cousins from both sides of the family.
I counted the kids in the photo below at least three times to see if I’d accidentally gotten all the little ones in one shot. It took me a really long time to realize who was missing. There are my sister’s four kids…Caleb and Berkley Grace…there’s David. Who else?
Oh yeah, my daughter. She’ll be my middle child in just a few weeks, guess it’s ok to start prepping her now.