Yesterday Seth ran in his first cross country meet with nearly 500 other elementary students from the area. It was a beautiful sight to see all of those eager kids line up on the soccer field of Victor Ashe Park and wait for the starting gun to fire. To watch them take off, running with abandon toward the trail, and to stand with the crowd of parents and grandparents yelling and cheering as they crossed the finish line a mile later was a thrill.
I have to admit: I don't know who was more nervous - Seth, his dad, or me. Cross country was one of those activities that Tim and I "encouraged" Seth to try (i.e. signed him up for without a choice), and this was the first race of the season. With only one training race under his belt (a run with Tim on Monday morning), we were unsure how he would handle the one-mile run ahead of him. Tim's hope was 12 minutes. My hope was that he would be able to run the entire mile.
Unfortuntely Tim had to dash off himself to take Reed to Wolf Scouts, so he couldn't wait with me at the finish line. But, I gathered with mass of anxious adults waiting and watching for a familiar face to emerge from the trees and charge toward the finish line.
I confess, it was one of those "mother" moments when I saw Seth come into view. My heart moved from my chest to my throat. My brain was telling me "Scream for him. Cheer!" but I knew if I opened my mouth the tears would explode and my strained-with-emotion voice would expose me. Finally, I gained enough control to yell, "Way to go, Seth!" as he pounded toward the finish line. A huge grin stretched across his red, sweaty face.
His time? 9 minutes, 48 seconds.
After the race, the question became who was more proud? Seth was beaming. Tim was amazed. And I was overcome. To watch this child, who I have known and loved every second of his life, grow into such a courageous, capable, determined boy blows me away. I can't imagine how he will surprise me next, but whatever it is, he'll find me by his side, swollen with pride, and cheering wildly. Way to go, Seth!!!