Do you remember the Track & Field days that perhaps you had in school back in 5th and 6th grade? At John & Laura's school, they have special Track & Field days for all grades. Yesterday (Friday, May 8th) was John's Track & Field Day.
John is strong and fast, but doesn't routinely engage in overly-physical play. He will probably be doing a soccer camp this summer, and loves to ride his bike with his dad or place chase with the neighborhood kids, but isn't exceptionally athletic. He is, however, extremely competitive! So I wondered how Track & Field day would go for him.
I got to the school with my fold out chair and my backpack of sustaining goodies for the boy (and he routinely came to me saying "Mom, I'm hungry!" I found out that John would be competing in the 50 yard dash, the ball kick (distance) and the egg/spoon race.
Before every race John would come running over to me saying "Mom, I'm nervous!" and I'd repeat the same reassurances back to him "Do your best. Doing your best means that no matter what place you come in, you gave it your all! You'll do great!" But the whole mumbo-jumbo about how it didn't matter what place he came in was entirely lost on John. He is extremely competitive, right? So 1st or 2nd place it needed to be...otherwise it was failure in his mind.
50 yard dash went by in a...flash! John crossed the finish line milli-seconds after the winner...so John got his first 2nd place! I wanted to take a picture of him right there on the finish line, but in a split second decision (after he realized that the entire 5th grade population was just feet away from him), he said "no Mom, that's embarrassing!" Later I was able to snap this unsuspecting pic! The red wristbands indicate a 2nd place win, and the white wristband indicates 'participation' (meaning he didn't get 1st or 2nd prize on that event).
The other event he got 2nd in was the ball kick. The competition was to kick a kickball the farthest. John's went off center...if it had been a straight kick I think he would have easily gotten first! (spoken by a true proud mama, huh?)
He was not at all pleased that there was an event he did that he didn't place in. In fact he came in dead last. The event was the egg/spoon race, and this race does not work for overly competitive boys who want to move as fast as they can in a race, but with this race, moving slowly and more methodically is what wins it for him. His egg dropped constantly as he tried to move as fast as he could across the field. After picking it up multiple times, the rest of the crowd got ahead of him and he came in...last. He was not so happy and brought his blanket over to sit by me and sulk for a while. But about the time the class tug-of-war competition came around, he was ready to snap out of it.
After the event was done, we got to meet up with Daddy (who had to miss the event because of a work meeting he couldn't change) and went out to eat for lunch before John went back to school for the rest of the day.
Juancho with his friends