During the week Alfie had his Athletics Carnival. Some of you might recall last year’s carnival where Alfie came last in almost all his races – bless!
He came home from that carnival totally deflated and it was of no help that I kept saying, ‘Yes, but did you see me win the Mother’s race?’ because I was rather focused on my own success. But when everyone tired of hearing about my moment of glory I said to Alfie, ‘Well it can only get better’. And he said, ‘Why?’
‘Because you can’t do worse than come last. You can only improve from there’. No, that didn’t work for him either and waiting another 12 months to see if he could better that day’s performance seemed a lifetime away. So I continued.
‘There are children out there who peak too soon. They start out winning everything and they’re very pleased with themselves but every year they seem to slip further and further from glory as others rise up. Those boys who were the champions today may very well find they’re not next year’s champions. And they’re going to feel a lot worse than you’re feeling now. No. He went to bed flat. Oh well, I tried.
Fast forward 12 months and we’re at the carnival again.
His first event was the 800mtrs and it was the under 8’s, 9’s and 10’s all thrown in together so there were about 40 in the race. Every time he ran past me I yelled at him to move faster. I’m a very good motivator like that. He finished 15th. That’s not last. I could have gone home very happy right then. But there was more.
His next event was the 200mtrs and again it was all three age groups lumped in together. It was the first time he had ever run in a race with a staggered start. He was on the inside lane and thought he was being terribly disadvantaged – until he rounded the bend! He won his heat but the computer that spits out the stats said his time wasn’t fast enough to make the final.
The next event was the 100mtrs. He won his heat, made it into the final and won that too. He’s off to the Zone Carnival and he’s overjoyed. What a difference a year makes.
I know you’ll all be disappointed to hear there wasn’t a Mother’s Race. Can you believe it! So without an opportunity for me to have a second moment of glory all my focus was on my boy which is absolutely how it should be.
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