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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Track Meet Wrap Up

This afternoon, I had no idea how much emotion I was going to feel when we showed up for Luke's track meet.  Months earlier, Luke begged me to sign him up for track.  I admit I was nervous.  He hasn't participated in an after school sport before.  There is a process by which allowing him to participate in track requires that I have to "let go" and allow him to navigate the world without me.  I agreed to track and in turn allowed him the opportunity to grow. 
Participation in track would mean Luke would have to remember what days to not get on the bus to come home.  He would have to find his way to track practice and navigate where he could change into his track clothes.  Luke would have to keep track of his coat, backpack and lunch box on his own.  I realize that a lot of this should sound simple enough for a 10 year old, but for a kiddo with special needs it is a lot of change in routine and would require he pay attention to detail.  That left this mama biting her nails.   
Luke accomplished all of his goals for participating in track and I couldn't be more proud!  He attended all the practices and knew everything about what was expected of him at the meet.  He even selected the four events that he wanted to participate in (standing long jump, 400 meter relay, 100 meter dash and throwing the mini javelin).
He was even selected for the team tug-o-war competition.  Yes that is my son posing for the camera prior to the event!  LOVE HIM!  
The track meet was held at McKenzie Stadium.  It is a special place for me.  I watched many high school football games during my high school career. Also Mark and I graduated from High School together at that stadium in 1997.  I walked down the hill into the stands and the memories came flooding.  The sights, sounds and smells...all the same.  I had to fight back the tears.  It was weird and I didn't expect that reaction.  I decided to sit where my family sat when we graduated from high school.  It was close enough so I could watch Luke, but far enough away to let him be with the group.   
I watched Luke compete in his four events.  He finished 4th in the tug-o-war and last place in everything else.  One might think I would be sad he didn't do better, but it was quite the opposite.  I could careless what place he came in.  He did it!  LUKE.ACCOMPLISHED.SOMETHING.BIG!  He followed social rules, didn't argue, didn't become upset when he wasn't first.  He tried a new thing, he wasn't afraid!  Luke put his heart and soul into that track meet.  He was really slow, but it didn't matter.  As I watched him running his heart out during the relay on the opposite side of the track, I couldn't keep the tears from falling.  I learn so much from him.  He taught me that you can't let your fear hold you back from trying new things.  He is my HERO!
I was talking with my mom a bit while waiting for Luke to compete in his different events.  I told her this was so weird to be at McKenzie Stadium with my own children.  It wasn't that long ago I was their and she was the parent.  Mom reminded me that time keeps marching on.  It does.  I'm 34 years old now.  My kids are experiencing things that I have connections to.  I can't help thinking maybe this is part of our legacy to them.  Putting down roots in the same place we had roots.  So many memories for me, now are becoming memories for them.  Time marches on.  I wouldn't doubt that someday I will sit in the same place my parents did and watch them graduate from the same stage.  And now I am doing the big ugly mama cry.  Because I don't want to let go.  I don't want them to experience failure or hurt or pain.  But I know I have too.  I don't want to.  But I need to let them take more risks and reap the benefits of success or learn from the lessons of failure.   
It's true...Luke amazes me.  His tenacity of purpose, his zest for life, his internal joy that spills out to EVERYONE he crosses paths with.  What a gift he is!  What a blessing!
And just for kicks...this is the way Miss B was the ENTIRE track meet.  She HATED the loud sounds and air horns.  I got some awfully nice stares from the older couple in front of us regarding her crying...whatever...I was there to cheer on my son! 
So today Luke...I celebrate you and your accomplishments!  Thank you for pushing mommy to do track, because I learned a lot of important lessons.  I am SO proud of you! Till next year...when I have two of them in track!  Grace has already announced she will be running next year!  You go girl!  Mama will be there cheering you on too! 

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