Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sports Day

Depending on your sporting ability, the heading you've just read will have made you cringe and curl your toes, or smile broadly; or maybe it will have had you sighing nostalgically.

I only really learned to throw and catch a ball by learning with my first toddler. In my school years, therefore, sports days for me were limited to shouting from the stands. On the few occasions I was forced to run a cross-country race, I toiled along plumply in my red scratchy gym-slip, with burning chest and flaming cheeks, coming last with one or two other friends who either genuinely were as slow as me, or elected to spare me the embarrassment of being ignominiously LAST, instead of just rather humiliating "in-the-final-group". Winning a point or two for one's House was no compensation for this torture.

Now, I find myself toeing the line, encouraging my own two boys to take part "because you should". This year I have the added ammunition of "It's your last year at primary school!" to fire at the older one. Thankfully, they are as athletic as I was not (ok, I'll pause while you re-read that). The younger one - tall and long-legged and fast - even took part in an exciting all-ages relay race, under the floodlights, right at the end of the day. This made our determined "We WILL stay to the end this time!" well worth while. AND our team won! Cheers and warm feelings all round.

I am thankful that I can share such times with my boys, as they learn patience and stick-ability and team spirit. There are new memories to replace my old, solitary ones. However, I remain thankful too that sports day comes but ONCE a year.

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