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. 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. ;)

11 thoughts on “RACE DAY LESSONS”

  1. CONGRATS!!!! And I too am abundantly proud of her perseverance. Great job kiddo! and Great job mom and dad!!!!

  2. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Having seen Ameya through competitions from age 7, it is so gut wrenching when they lose. Not because you want them to beat everyone or strut around after the competition, but because you want to see their sparkling eyes and excitement at having done something well.

    Over the years, I have learned one thing, that along the way to the big wins, there are many times you end up last or in second place or third or don’t even feature on the list. But in the end, its about showing up, being there and sticking it through the end.

    This little girl is a fighter (not with others but for herself) who will keep challenging herself and will always reach for the stars. This race will no doubt make her better in every way. I have no doubt about what type of person she is going to be when she grows up. I see it already. I see a leader, a friend, a pain in the behind (because she knows EXACTLY what she wants, perpetually excited about something, intense energy, focus and concentration and an ability to always stay young(if you know what I mean).

    So, to my little niece I say, party on! You did a great job, put a nice bandaid on your hand and keep practicing because the next race is just around the corner…and this time… it will be yours for the taking.

    Lots of love,
    Sonu Maoshi

  3. I can’t say it any better than your sonu maushi – staying in there made us all super super proud of you. As for your sister – she will be your number one fan for ever – despite all the torture – and that loyalty speaks a lot for what you give her.

  4. Seeing the picture with her number 205 on her bike,made me feel so proud of my grand daughter.I wish I was there to cheer her.There will be many races in your life and you will come first in many of them.It was very brave of you to take part in such a huge event.Its not winning which always matter but learning from the experience.We are proud of you ,your parents and also your little sister for supporting you.

  5. I swear I cant tell you how proud I am at your attitude of never say die.Needless to say this alone will put you ahead of entire pack next time around and I have no doubts indeed.Bash on regardless.Hats of to your parents and little kiddo sister.

  6. Oh so proud of her – she did something much harder then winning!!! She will go so far and in life :o) You must be soo pround.

  7. Rashmi, thanks for sharing this! You made me cry! :)

    Kiddo, you make us all proud. You are brave and strong. I can’t wait to see what your future holds!

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