I got to go to Discovery Park and cheer for Jonah the day he ran the mile.
First you need some background:
Several weeks ago, Jonah's class ran a mile, and recorded their times. Jonah came in third, with a time of 9:42. Not bad!
They knew they would be running it again, and were supposed to be working to improve their time. I had heard him talk about it, but I didn't really stop to notice how seriously he was taking this training time.
I did notice that he had asked to pack spinach in his lunch a few times. Weird, but good. He had also been making more of an effort not to gag and whine and cry when he saw what we were having for dinner. Sometimes (certainly not every day) he would even have a positive attitude, and try to eat everything on his plate. I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back I think this was all part of his training. His dad has told him that if you want to get bigger and stronger, you have to eat healthy foods, and a good variety.
A few days before the second run was going to take place, Jonah started doing exercises before school. He was running laps around the hallway, jumping as high as he could, and using the pattern on the rug to practice his quick footwork. He wanted me to measure him to see if he had gotten any taller. Longer legs are better for running fast, you know!
So the big day finally arrived, and Simon, Eli and I went down to the park to cheer him on. We brought him an ice cold water bottle (as requested), and he was off!
By this time, I had woken up to the fact that this race was really important to him, so I was a little bit nervous. I watched him pace himself and slowly work his way to the front of the pack. I cheered for him as he came around the halfway mark, and he looked like he was still going strong. I (guiltily) got a little excited when the boy in first place started looking droopy, and Jonah slowly passed him.
There was a girl close on his heels, but she couldn't quite catch up to him. Jonah won first place!! And he beat his time by more than a minute! He was just beaming!
I was glad I had my sunglasses on so that none of the other moms could see the tears in my eyes. The tears were mostly ones of joy for Jonah. He gained some experience that tells him that his hard work will pay off. He set his sights on a goal and he accomplished it. I was so happy for him!
They were also tears of relief. I'm so glad that I happened to tune in to what was going on. It took me a while, but luckily I realized how important this race was in time to be there for him. It was a great moment in his little life, and his mom was there to support him.
I'm afraid that I miss out on way too many of those type of moments. With so many kids, so many different ages, going so many different directions, I feel like I am constantly "letting some ball drop." In fact, part of my morning prayers nearly every day is "Please help me to choose the things that are the most important today." I know I can't possibly do all of the good things that I would like to do each day, but I pray that I have the wisdom to know which ones to choose.
I'm so glad I chose the mile race.