Today my son and I took an hour out of our morning and went to watch my daughter’s kindergarten Field Day. Because a letter and an e-mail went out reminding parents about the event and that the relay races would begin at 11:00, I expected the playground to be littered with parents. Most of the moms I know are stay-at-home moms, and Field Day struck me as a mom Mecca. Instead, what I found was a sea of six year olds with just a few scattered moms who had volunteered to run stations.
As the relay races were about to begin, a few other parents trickled onto the field and sat with another mom and I. My daughter had spent the entire evening last night wondering if her class had a chance to win and sharing her concerns that the a specific class who “wins everything” would win again. Did I mention that my daughter runs like Phoebe on Friends? As a parent, the best thing I could do was to tell her to try her best, have fun, and not be upset if her class did not finish first.
But they did finish first.
There I sat like a soccer mom on speed, yelling and clapping with Emma’s friend’s mother, cheering as though it was the final event at the Olympics.
It’s a little victory, but to Emma, it meant everything.
Parenting is the same way – it’s the little victories that mean everything.
Last week my daughter purchased lunch at school for only the second or third time, and she went with instructions to get orange slices, or carrot sticks, or applesauce, in that order. What she found when she got to the cafeteria was that the choices were actually red Jello, green Jello, or fruit salad. Not only did she choose fruit salad, but she looked closely first to check if, in her words, “it was in real fruit juice and not that bad-for-you syrup stuff.”
She’s six, and already I can tell that she’s listening. She’s remembering. I’m finding little parenting victories.
Yes, it was just fruit salad – in real fruit juices – and yes it was just the kindergarten relay race…but it meant everything…