Monday, June 10, 2013

First in the Back

The ideas that escape my middle daughter's dimpled mouth is cause for both concern and juvenile delight. She was born without a filter - or the desire to censor her words.

Secretly, I admire her brave candor.

She awoke before her sisters on a bright Spring day and announced that she would win her event in the school's Track Meet.

I froze, letting the pancakes turn a shade too dark. She can't take more than three consecutive steps before falling, tripping, or spilling into or onto something. The other girls filed into the kitchen, followed by their father. When my daughter repeated her prediction, Damon caught my eye, What do we say?

I offered, Even if you don't win, you're a winner in my book.

My middle daughter rolled her eyes, What does that mean?

My oldest, It means you're not going to win but don't cry when you lose.

The girls marched themselves to school (across the street, literally) before I could recover from their conversation.
A few hours later with my youngest daughter hitched on my hip, I watched my middle daughter line up to race. She winked and offered a thumbs up

Mr. Duke (who I found out later was told repeatedly by my daughter that she was going to win this event) the principal, sounded the horn. Four of the five kids take off running in a wild cloud of dust and scraggly hair.

My child, the fifth runner, adjusts her shorts for half a second and then begins her awkward jog on skinny legs. She waves and giggles while passing me - dead last.

I held my breath and clutched my youngest daughter knowing the inevitable realization of defeat. Mr. Duke went to shake her hand. She wiped her forehead and shouted, I was FIRST in the back!