Today I experienced a ‘growing pain’ of being a mother.
Eldest has been psyched the whole week for his first ever ‘sports day’ at his school. He donned his takkies yesterday evening to go run in the garden and practice his’races’. He kept telling me how fast he was going to run, and I kept telling him to just do his best.
This morning he was awake at 4am, already excited to go to school. When I arrived to watch him take part in his sports day all the mom’s who had dropped their little ones off this morning kept telling me how Eldest was doing streatches and warming up for his race in his classroom.
Like the proud Mom that I am, I postioned myself at the finishing line, camera poised to take a picture of him running ‘fast like a Superhero’. As the child infront of him ran towards the finishing line I saw my little boy hunched over and crying, he was next to run but made no effort to walk towards the starting line. Running towards him, I knelt down and queried his behaviour. “Mommy he hurt me.”
The local class bully had already left the starting blocks and I was left to try salvage my son’s damaged pride. The teachers all assumed that he was too scared to run but I knew that this event was what he was longing for all week. Hubby was up on the stands watching from above and saw how our child had beanbags thrown into his face but was too far away to do anything.
Today we felt powerless and our hearts shattered.
I was proud that he managed the courage to overcome his hurt feelings and take his place at the starting blocks for his race. I positioned myself once again at the finishing line and as he crossed it, I cheered, my eyes brimming with tears and the camera hanging by my side.
In a way it was representative of what I think parents have to do with their kids. We can’t be there to fight their battles, we can’t protect them always, but when they are down and hurt we are able to wipe away their tears, love them and give them the words of encouragement they need to go back into the starting blocks and take part in the race of everyday life.