I will admit I was not pleased when this flyer came home from school.
Every year, the elementary school holds a father and daughter dance. This event is for mothers to bond with their sons. I secretly hoped thunderstorms would roll through and the race would be cancelled. It was another thing to put on my calendar between a dance recital, soccer practice, guitar lessons, tennis matches, school field trips etc. I know it is a first world problem. I don’t need those of you still sporting a “Free Tibet” bumper sticker or building wells in Africa to lecture me on how good I have it. I know I’m supposed to wear this cape and go through life smiling. Sometimes motherhood is overwhelming even when you have running water.
I knew my 8-year-old son would want to go. What kid his age would turn down an invitation to play in mud? I am not exactly a nature girl. I refuse to camp unless there is room service. The only place I hike is to the clearance section at Target. However, I do enjoy gardening. Actually, I love to garden, but I like being clean more. My first born son was never dirty. If I have one regret it is that I didn’t let him be a kid. (Well, I also regret getting a Dorothy Hamill haircut in 1999 when I was 8 months pregnant. Weight gain + looking like a figure skater from the late 1970s = bad idea.) I didn’t allow my first born to jump in puddles, roll down hills or sit in a sand box. We had a sand table. I was always worried that he would get hurt or ruin his clothes. I loosened up with the second and third child, but I still enjoy a good bar of soap.
If we went to this race I would have to do more laundry and scrub sneakers. It would take forever to clean the dirt in the car and off the floor. We signed up anyway. I poured myself into a pair of yoga pants, put on the most supportive bra I own (one doesn’t need the girls to clap when running) and pretended to be excited. Then, something happened tonight when I got to the school. I saw the joy on my son’s face and stopped overthinking everything.
We finished the race together. According to my son, we came in second place. More importantly, he got to witness me doing something I need to do more often: enjoy the moment. Now, can anyone tell me how to get mud stains off a shirt?