Ninja Track Meet

First, you should know I’ve been caught between a laugh and a cry since 10:15 this morning and giggles and tears are rolling as I type, so forgive my mind’s wanderings-better yet, enjoy them with me.

Our firstborn child went to his first ever track meet, ran the very first race and finished in first place.

i think you need to know more about the kid who won. This poor child is the first born of two first borns. That means when he was a baby and tried to take his shoes off in the car even after we told him “no”, that we thought he was strong willed and rebellious at 11 months old. By the time the fifth kid was born we have mellowed our expectations so much I honestly don’t know if my baby (also, I’m still calling him “baby” and he is almost 3) is wearing his own pants or his sister’s, I do know he is wearing an infant sock and one of his sister’s socks and his shirt is definitely inside out and backwards today with shoes on the wrong feet, and I’ve been taking pictures at the beauty of this child’s adorable self sufficiency. (It’s this kind of crap that makes the baby of the family so unique. Their parents learned to soak it all in, because they finally figured out growing up happens when we blink.)

Back to Zeke and this day.

He’s been telling us about this track meet for a couple of weeks and he told me he thought he could win. I was afraid he was getting a bit hot headed and felt it was my duty to knock him back down to Earth so I have spent the last couple of weeks reminding him that he may be fast at his school but he will be competing against kids from three other schools. Basically telling him it ain’t gonna happen. Cuz I believe in preparing hearts. 🙄

So we get to the track meet and say Hi to Zeke and marvel at the sheer number of kiddos and can feel their excitement as they walk on a springy real track for the first time in their lives.

And then my mother-in-love, Cindy, and I found a good spot in the bleachers and just chatted with the other parents. I’m a super annoying “WHOOOOO!!!” kinda sports enthusiast and holler for everyone so I always have to be extra nice before an event so people don’t smack me upside the head. Anyway, we watched as the kids took their places. A lot of kids. Like a big ol mob of them. Kids from four schools and my kid. The starting line was on the other side of the field and we couldn’t really make out who was who. We were searching the sea of children as they moved around the track and I scanned to the kid in the lead..


“Cindy, i think that’s Zeke!”

“no! What color are his shoes?”

“those! Those shoes! That’s Zeke!!”

Y’all. He was ahead and by a good amount.

I’m crying again.

Cindy and I were screaming and jumping and bawling and he won!!

But did you read the part where his mother told him he couldn’t win?? That child did this to spite me!!

Im probably kidding.

This reminds me of when this precious child was small and was going to be a Ninja when he grew up. He talked about it ALL the time. His daddy and I were weirdos and decided we should be concerned because first time parents are nothing but prickly balls of anxiety wrapped in crazy.  We talked to our pediatrician about how that was all our child talked about and what kind of specialist could he refer us to??? Our pedi smiled at us and now, looking back, I realize that wasn’t a smile to reassure two young nervous parents, rather it was this man who had worked with children and their ridiculous parents for decades trying desperately to hold back the Judge Judy eye roll his brain was begging to unleash.

“You’re worried because he wants to be a ninja when he grows up? Hmm..let’s put a pin in that for now. I’m sure he will grow out of it.”

I couldn’t believe how little our pediatrician who had raised his own children and cared for thousands of other kids during his career could be so ignorant! We tried rationalizing with our child:

“There is no one to train you and you have to train from the time you are very small.”

“I know ALOT of people and none of them are a ninja and none of them know a ninja.”

“That’s not a real job. There will be no one to pay you to be a ninja.”

“There is no such thing as ninjas.”

And on and on.

One evening we all found ourselves watching the show “American Ninja Warrior” and we were all cheering for these people with amazing abilities and incredible back stories. and suddenly I could see our son, who truly is strong, capable, and fearless on that podium being interviewed after he won the whole dang show:

“Zeke, tell us how do you feel?! What motivated you to become the champion?!”

“Well, my parents always told me there was no such thing as Ninjas and that I needed to just let that dream go, but instead of crushing me I used it to fuel my motivation! And I’m here to tell kids today, **grabs microphone and looks into the camera** don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t do it, that it doesn’t exist, because I’m here to tell you you can, it does AND I AM A NINJA, MOM AND DAD!!!”

I’m so proud of my son. He won and was cheered and clapped on the back and was humble and encouraged others. I’m proud of all the kids as they cheered and encouraged each other to do their best. And for the 87 billionth time of motherhood God has blessed me with a lesson, and maybe I’ll learn it sometime. But for now, I’ve never been more proud of an accomplishment, mine or any others, than I am right now.

unless he was doing it to spite me and rebel. Then I’m super mad and he’s grounded.



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