Wednesday, October 24, 2012
The Running of the Kindergartners
One mile is a long way on short kindergartner legs. Though everyone charged out of the gates like bulls, within half a block, we noticed one of Lily's little buddies falling behind. Last month, he had fallen off his bike or something. He said his back still hurt and he didn't want to run. In fact, he just wanted to go home.
Lily volunteered us to walk with him, so the three of us kept trucking down the street, hand in hand. Inevitably, we moved to the back of the pack.
Since the fun run was at 10:00 am, not everyone's mom could make it. I became the lonely straggler magnet, collecting the slow and left behind. At some point, I had gained charge of 6 kids, all holding hands across the width of the street.
At the half mile point, we were passed by the sixth graders on their second mile lap. One of my race buddies said he was sad because that meant he wasn't going to win. Lily, my little Jr finisher, matter-of-factly explained that as long as we made it to the end, we would all win.
I darned near cried. It was one of the proudest moments I've had as a mother. This past year, I have worked so hard to instill the philosophy of finishing into my kids. I want them to have that firm foundation of self esteem that finishing brings. Not the wall of failures that I hid behind until I finally learned how to finish. Today is proof that my efforts are paying off. Lily corralled and encouraged our rag tag band of 5 and 6 year olds. At least until the finish line was in view, then the kids promptly took off at full speed to cross the flags.
There's something magical about a finish line. I know that even after running miles and miles, that sight gives me new strength to run faster and push a little farther.
So teach your kids to look for those finish lines in everything they do. Encourage that can do attitude with the philosophy of finishing, "Not everyone can win the race, but everyone can finish". Then they'll never feel like losers as long as they never give up.