There has never been a day when I have not been proud of you, I said to my daughter, though some days I’m louder about other stuff so it’s easy to miss that. – storypeople
So today was the bike race my five year old had been excited about for weeks. She practiced in the evenings and was counting down the days. We got there today and she was thrilled to see all the other kids.. some older than her, some younger and some her age (there were 3 heats). She warmed up a little bit but not much ‘Mom, the other kids will tire themselves out.. I don’t want to do that!‘.When the pros went by followed by the support cars.. she was wide-eyed.
And finally it was her heat. The 4-6 year olds. They lined them up. She was at the end of the line.. near the barricades. Ready. Set. Off they went.I saw her speed up and manage to get to the center of the pack. Then they turned the corner (it was a one lap race) and we lost sight of all the kids.
After a few minutes we saw the older kids (6-9 years old) rounding the corner and finishing. Then we saw her group turning the corner. We didn’t see her. I knew something was wrong. Not to be boastful or anything (okay dammit, I am being boastful!!), but this girl is speed demon.. there was no way she was not going to be in the first few kids. Almost everyone finished. No sign of her. My husband was about to sprint the lap to find out what went wrong… I told him to wait. A few minutes later she turned the corner and came towards the finish slowly and steadily. We egged her on to keep going and she did.
She saw us and the tears welled up in her eyes. She showed us her bloodied hand. She said she got wobbly and fell off the bike. Some volunteers helped her up, checked her out and put her back on the bike. And she carried on till the end.. scraped up hand and all.
So here is the thing. You know, I was thinking to myself that regardless of whether she won or not, I would have been very proud of her. But I think deep down inside I did want her to win. But she did something better. She persevered when she could have stopped. She was braver than I probably would have been at her age or even older. And in that she made us more proud than if she had won the race. Really. Truly. That showed me her real strength. That same dogged perseverance that drives me bonkers (momcanigototheplayground momcanigototheplayground momcanigototheplayground momcanigototheplayground) will serve her well in all her endeavours in life.
We are so proud of you sweetheart, today and everyday.
xoxo, Mom & Dad.
PS : The funniest thing was her little sister burst into LOUD tears saying ‘I’m sad she didn’t finish and come FIRST!!’. She was so upset for her sister.. it was kind of heartwarming to know that perhaps she really does like her after all. ;)