Being a parent seems to involve preparing your child for life as much as you are able, and then standing back to allow them the space to succeed or fail. Which is a difficult thing to do since you develop this attachment to these little people who've taken over your world. But apparently you need to do this so that they are able to be independent and develop confidence and a sense of themselves.
And this past weekend the girls had their first cross-country meet ever, and despite some serious concern and nervousness (not entirely on the part of the girls), it went well for all.
Having opportunities like team sports is one of the reasons we decided to change schools this year. Their new school has far more options than we had previously, some of which are extra curricular sports.
Neither girl had ever done anything like this before, and as a parent I was nervous for them. It was chaotic, with figuratively millions of children and parents, a high wind at Woodland Park, barely understandable announcers, uncertain courses.... all the ingredients for a perfect day, in other words. The start involves sending 50+ second (or third, or fourth, or...) grade girls (or boys) running full blast down a hill, guaranteed to result in some collisions and falls. Luckily both our girls stayed on their feet and did not, as far as I am aware, push anyone else out of their way.
L ran hard and was near the front of the pack for 2nd grade girls (she was the 2nd of the runners from her school to finish):
on your marks, get set, GO!
K ran well too, and what really made my day was the smile she gave me as she ran past, nearing the finish line:
a smile for dad
We were proud like only parents can be, and the girls love their "official" racing shirts.
There was also the perk of vitamin water after the race, thoughtfully supplied by M.