family, motherhood, parenting

On Track For Stardom (Part 3)

Full Speed may get trounced on now and again, but he always gets back up and prevails. Every. Single. Time.


I was beyond confused.  While my eyes were seeing Full Speed line up with his teammates near the high jump area, my mind could not comprehend it.  It was like if you were at my house and I walked down my stairs wearing a Cardinals jersey.  It would make absolutely no sense.  If you were a Cubs fan, and odds are if I let you in my home, you were,… well, at the least you would be anything but a Cardinals fan…, first you would feel confusion, then as it sunk in, you would feel angry and upset.

That’s exactly how I felt:  confused, angry, upset


First of all, Full Speed up to this point in all of his entire life, had never even attempted to execute a high jump.  Secondly, he barely cleared the waist of one of his man-sized teammates.  I wish I was exaggerating for effect, but sadly, I am not.  This kid towered over Full Speed.  He looked like a line-backer while Full Speed looked like a scrawny equipment manager (albeit a highly adorable one).

Thankfully, the high jump took place well off the main area.  Most of the crowd was focused on the excitement of the relays that circled before us.  The bad news is, Full Speed’s high jump attempts played out exactly as you might imagine.

For his ‘warm-up’ jump he actually went under bar.  Yes, you read that right….under.  For his remaining three attempts he managed to at least level himself out with the bar to a degree, mainly shouldering the bar and launching it off the two poles that held it up.  There was no grace to be found in these movements, mostly it looked like he was being electrocuted as his arms flailed around helplessly. I have to give him props for consistency, I mean he demolished that bar every single time.  I also appreciated the polite way he helped replace the bar to its proper positioning for the next kid in line.

This was a parenting moment that I had to go big picture.  This is where what you see before you is so off-kilter, you just shrug your shoulders and say, ‘no big deal’.   This is just a blip on the road of life and let it go.  I secretly held on to hope that he might get a chance to compete in another event.  One hopefully, that required his feet to stay planted on the ground.

Shortly after, the ominous clouds that had been gathering decided they were done with this particular track meet.  Within moments, rain was pummeling its way through the crowd and we all scattered like ants to safety.  I was separated from Full Speed for a bit while the fate of the track meet was determined.  Eventually, as mother nature continued on with her very bad mood, the meet was called and I caught up with him.

Once we were back at the car away from the noisy rain, I asked him point-blank, “Why on earth did they ask you do to the high jump?”

“I volunteered,” he replied.


Turns out, four members of his team were no-shows and there were lots of gaps needing to be filled.  As his coach had run through the litany of events that needed a fill-in, Full Speed volunteered for every single one.

He was denied on all counts.

That is until the high jump was called out.  No one was willing to step up so what did Full Speed do?

He stepped up.

Can you imagine the amount of courage this must have taken?  Since Full Speed has a pretty good hold on reality, he had to have known it was going to end badly for him.

He did it anyway.

This kid may have lost the high jump that day, but he won my respect.

He has all it takes to be a winner.  The kind that matters.  The kind that isn’t afraid to take risks.

My favorite kind.

children, kindergarten, marriage, mommyhood

Full Speed Ahead

It was Sunday morning. The next day Full Speed will start kindergarten. I stared at the wobbly whir of our bedroom ceiling fan while in my chest sat a complicated and pained heart. I turned to Mad Dog and said, “I’m really freaking out about Full Speed’s first day.”

He said, “Why? The kid has been in school for years. I don’t understand all the stress. It’s not like he’s never been in a classroom.”

I tried my best not to reach over and smack him on the head. All I said in response was, “Thanks, that was extremely comforting.” I laced it with as much sarcasm as I could muster. Trust me, I have loads.

A couple hours later I was stressing myself out over attempting to pre-pay on-line Full Speed’s first, official school cafeteria lunch. However, I needed his student ID# and I have yet to receive that. It was really stressing me. I know it’s not rational. I know it has more to do with my firstborn starting kindergarten and all the change that comes with that. I’m not great with change.

My shoulders inched up towards my ears and my brow twisted up in irritation.

Mad Dog, sensing my frustration, came over and said, “I get that it’s different for you. When Full Speed came into this world he was attached to you in a way I don’t get. I know it will be hard for you to separate from him tomorrow. Me? You know, I’d just throw him in the deep end (see post yin and yang) and be done with it.”

I was so grateful that Mad Dog acknowledged how different this process would be for the two of us. That brought my anxiety down by about 1 percent. The rest of the 99 percent I plan to deal with by consuming lots of chocolate.

As for Full Speed, he is ready to conquer kindergarten. This is one instance where having a child who is the complete opposite of me (thrives on change, extroverted, and monstrously assertive) is a huge blessing. It almost makes up for all his stubborn-filled, tantrum-ridden, openly defiant toddler through age four years.


Full Speed tests out his desk at kindergarten orientation.

Go get ’em, Full Speed!