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Thursday, July 28, 2011


The school athletics were today.

Are you like me, and the mere mention of such an event quickens your heart rate with ancient memories of fear and distress? I recall sports' days as a source of anxiety, and boredom. Anxiety promoted by my need to find ways to avoid participation, and boredom since when all the world around is thrilling over something I actively and potently disliked, there was nowhere to turn to find interest. Nowhere to escape to. Sports' Days were long days for me.

So it's curious for me to see how the gene pool has dished things up for our tribe. The Husband's sporting prowess, passion and interest clearly lives on for another generation. Nine and Seven will watch rugby (sorry Melburnians, no AFL for the, not just Kiwi but Cantabrian, sporting fans round here), and groan with their own groans when things aren't going well. They'll wring their own wrists at a bad decision, and jump with their own joyful legs when victory comes to the barracked for side.

In a foreign way to me, then, today's event was greeted with excitment and anticipation by Nine. (School as usual for Seven, since it was Seniors' Day.) In keeping with high sporting interest from the other gene pool, Husband wrangled a magic work-at-home day, so we were able to do the devoted parent thing at the athletics' event.

Melbourne turned on a delightful day. Warm sun and an uplifting blue sky. A welcome tonic to the drear and gloom of too many recent days. Even more uplifting was the adrenalin vibe pumping through the stadium. Hundreds of little, excited bodies pushing themselves to do what they could. Smiles abounding, and hands clapping loudly when good friends found good success.

Our parent hearts thrilled when Nine putted the shot with all her might. Second in her year group. She ran for all she was worth in the 100m heat. Third. Then, the thrill to beat thrills, Daughter was first in the long jump, and beat the school record.

Lots, oh lots of parent pride. For sure.

But do you know when I truly felt my heart swell so much I thought it would break? When I picked her up after school.

"How was the 100m final?" (We weren't able to stay through to the end.)

"I came last!"

And do you know how she was looking? Happy, content and so, so pleased with herself.

That was the moment that did it for me. For my money, anyone can be pleased with hard earned success. And deservedly so. But to be content, really content, with having a good time and simply enjoying the experience, oh that is truly a victory.  

PS I've shared this posting with Nine to check if she felt comfortable with me publishing it, and she said,"Yes! I love it!"

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