This year the geekson was old enough for the first time to be aware of the existence of Sports Day. We took him to watch his sister for her first school sports day last year, but I think he was mostly unaware of what was going on. This year his pre-school held a sports day so he was involved in practising for that for a number of weeks before. Despite all the practice he didn’t get to take part as the actual event was held on a day he doesn’t attend pre-school. I considered taking him in specially for it, until we had this conversation:
Geekson: I don’t like sports day Mummy
Me: What don’t you like about sports day?
Him: I don’t like racing against my friends and I always come last!
Honestly, that could have been me as a kid. I never did well at sports day – a combination of not being very sporty plus having a July birthday making me young in the year and therefore having to compete against kids almost a year older. My son is in a similar boat – a birthday at the end of May means he’s younger than a lot of his peers. Both my kids seem to have a competitive streak, but in the geekson’s case it makes him give up and stop trying if he doesn’t think he can win, whereas the geekdaughter’s competitive spirit makes her try harder.
So I didn’t take my son to his sports day. But I took him along to my daughter’s sports day. I was nervous. Last year she did really well – was placed in all four events in which she participated. I’m sure some of that was down to her being an October baby and therefore one of the eldest (and tallest) in her year. How would she react if she didn’t do as well this year? After all her classmates are catching her up in height, and she’s not what I’d call a hugely active child (although the weekly ballet and gymnastics lessons probably help).
Well, she pulled it out of the bag. Four races run, and she was placed in each one. One first, one second and two third places. And she was delighted when her house won overall as well. The geekson and I sat and watched, and cheered her on. I don’t know what will happen next year, when the geekson won’t be able to avoid taking part, but for now we found the perfect sports day for each of my kids.
Oh, and when it was time for the Mums’ race, I sat it out. Years of coming last in every race I ever tried at school means that now I have the choice I choose not to race.
After all, I don’t like racing against my friends, and I always come last!