Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Giving Primo his Props
You think you know your children, but every so often they give you a true glimpse of what they're made of... on the inside.
My oldest son is a runner. My husband and I call him 'Primo' as a way to talk about him in his own presence. He's seven, so that kind of trickery still works on him. Every Monday of the summer, he races cross-country in a program put on by our local running club. His race is the mile and he loves it. He usually finishes first or second in his age group, and we encourage his enthusiasm for the sport. On non-race days, he will often run with his Dad, who also ran cross-country years ago. I love it that they share that time.
Sometimes, however, Primo's races don't quite go as planned. His toughest obstacle this year has been the starting line. It is not as well-regulated a start as it could be, so when the starter's whistle blows, there is a tangled stampede of 6 to 9 year olds running like mad for the first 50 yards of the race.
We've tried to have him stand at different places along the line, but there is always pushing and shoving... it's been tough on him (and even tougher on his mother watching him).
That is, until last night.
The whistle blew, and what a start he had! He was running strong and fast with an excellent starting sprint. Of course (you knew this was coming) until a large-ish boy a head taller and 20 pounds heavier tripped and fell right into him. The boy got up and continued running, but my son lay there like a slapped mosquito. Needless to say, I ran.
By the time I got to him, the starter and Primo's soccer coach were at his side. He was dazed from a sneaker to the head and he had scrapes on hands, elbows, and legs. His face was contorted at the injustice of the whole thing. It had been his best start ever! I did my best to keep my cool and give him a quick check.
He was crying out his rage. Quietly I looked him in the eye and asked, "So, do you want to race? Or should we sit this one out?"
His green eyes narrowed and he set his jaw. "I want to race."
He then proceeded to run the best race I have ever seen him run. Even after standing there for at least a minute and a half while we checked him out, he finished in the middle of the pack. I couldn't believe it.
I thought, what toughness! This is MY SON.
I have never been more proud than I was last night... and still am. What is even better, though, is to see his pride in himself. To stumble and fall but to get right back up again, to use the experience to move forward, do better, run faster... what an amazing step for him. I am so grateful for the blessing of being there to see it. I'm even more grateful for my amazing son.
- Midwest Mom