Boy, was I wrong about everything. Not the part about Tall being fast enough for track, he is very fast. I was wrong about no one else wanting to run track, because when I showed up to the first meet, there were 300 students there.Three hundred kids. Not all of them can race each other at the same time, obviously, so they are broken into little groups of six. And most of the kids want to run in two or three different “events,” not just one. Do the math. Three hundred divided by six, times two or three. That equals eleventy billion combinations of runners competing against each other in races of varying lengths with zero regard to parents' schedules or desires to relax on the weekend.
I was not prepared for this.I am a soccer and basketball mom. Those games have clocks and whistles and timers and 15 minute quarters. Everyone knows what they are getting into when they go to a game or a practice. Go to a soccer game at 10 am and you can still make it to brunch at 11:15. Watch a basketball game at 1 pm, and you are guaranteed to be done in time for that 2 pm birthday party.
Not so with track. Our entire family showed up at the meet at 12 noon, and we were walking out of there at … brace yourself here … 5 pm. That’s right, 5 pm. How is that even possible? Five full hours of running? For my son to only run a total of three races (sprints!) of less than two minutes each?
And I noticed a strange phenomenon after the first few hours: some parents left early. Their child was done competing, and so they just ... left. At first, I was indignant. How dare they leave when others are not done yet? And then I decided that they were actually really really smart, and that we, too, would leave as soon as Tall was done. Turns out, Tall was in the second to last race, so we would not be leaving early. I went back to feeling indignant.As we walked to the car after five brutal hours watching children run while their younger siblings waited valiantly, my younger son, Short, turned to me and observed wryly,
“Mommy, I don’t think track is a very fast sport after all.”MOV