Tuesday, November 8, 2016

New phase

This past weekend we traveled to the middle of our state for our youngest to run in the state cross country meet. She's a freshman in high school and this was her first season of Cross Country.

There were 131 runners in our division. She finished 37th. I stood at the finish line with my shoulders scrunched up with nerves and water spilling from my eyes. Just minutes before the gun fired for her race, I watched a girl in a different division trip, fall, try to get back up at least a dozen times and finally crawl across the line. I fought my whole body to keep it from jumping the fence to help that girl. Rules, finishing, placing, pride. Her team still won. And then my daughter's race began and for about 20 minutes, I paced.

Pacing is really all I know in these instances. I never played high school sports. I've never been the mom to two teenage daughters that play soccer and run cross country before this year. Last spring when soccer began and my husband was coaching and my entire family was wrapped up in the sport and were gone for hours on end and spoke in a soccer short-hand language and laughed and struggled and practiced and traveled to games, I paced. Dinner wasn't at a predictable time. I didn't know how to contribute. The three of them were having fun, fun, fun and I felt off kilter.

Soccer ended and my youngest began running. She ran all summer. Miles and miles. Sometimes twice a day. Once school began, my oldest joined the team too. Meets began. There I was pacing. Watching my husband talk and plan and strategize and study and stretch and coach  . . . and bond even more deeply. I love that man. I wonder if this is kin to what he might have felt in those early years when both girls were so dependent on me.

So, I'll continue to pace. And cook meals that can still be shared at whatever hour we find ourselves together. And I'll buy Gatorade and bananas. And probably be the dorky mom that brings cut up oranges for the team. But I'll be there with water spilling from my eyes. Full of love in this new phase I find myself.


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