Pinball and Cocktails

For the love of all that is holy in this world. Let’s talk about today’s 5th grade track meet…

Hundreds — HUNDREDS — of 5th graders milling around the infield for an hour and a half while the races went on, affording their parents a glimpse into the microcosm that is their social whirl. Let me tell you what I watched that took ten years off my life, and then what my child set right for me just now. I’ll preface this by saying I WAS DEAD WRONG. 

Reese is a triple threat: dyslexic, a mild dose of ADD, and an introvert. Imagine if you will, what that looks like in a sea of hundreds of children in a “relatively” organized setting, as viewed by her mother who could not contact her in any way, shape, or form besides smoke signals — in a smoke-free stadium. I’ll give you a reference point to aid your imagination…


I watched my child bounce around the infield like a demented pinball seemingly oblivious to everything and everyone around her until my heart just about stopped. She’s with a group. Now she’s not. She’s gone over and is watching from the railing. Oh! Now she’s zipped across the track in between heats. WHAT THE HELL?? Ok. Now she’s back. Ah good. With a group of kids in green shirts. BUT THAT IS NOT OUR TEAM. Does she know? Does anybody know anymore? Where is her coach? She is going to wander off and we will never see her again and she will wind up on a milk carton all because I can’t send up these damn smoke signals. Wait? She’s getting ready to run?? SHE TOLD ME SHE WAS IN THE 200 RELAY. This is not a relay… 

And on it went until the meet was over. I died a thousand deaths extrapolating this to her going to the mall, or concerts with friends, or college, or adulting. Sweet Jesus. I’m wrapping her in bubble wrap and keeping her with me until she’s 40. 

And then I asked her about it tonight at bedtime and she rolled her eyes and said “MOM. First of all, I was nervous. There was too much noise and the speaker and the announcements and the starting gun and I got disoriented. But then I figured it out and was just trying to get a good spot to watch. There were so many events and I wanted to see them all. It’s not a big deal. I knew what I was doing.” And there you have it. She knew what she was doing. It would appear she is the only one of the two of us today.

Good night. I am grateful for this triple threat of mine who teaches her Type A mother the power of letting go a little bit. It is excruciating and I want to microchip her or equip her with an exorbitantly expensive Apple Watch so I can know the location of her actual wrist at any given moment. I probably shouldn’t because GOD and FAITH, and this is all part of growing up and she’ll inevitably jump in the pool with it on anyway.

But I tell you Friends — I will not go to another track meet without a cocktail for as long as I live.


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