Saturday, May 9, 2009

Track

I watched Nick at track practice the other day. I had to go early to pick him up for a doctor’s appointment (a psychiatrist appointment for more meds… sigh. A boy of 15 (12 when he started) has a shrink…sigh, sigh, sigh.). So, I got a chance to watch him at track. Now let me tell you that I have done this before, and will continue to watch him at track because I’m so proud of him for even participating in an extracurricular sports program while he is suffering from acute anxiety at school—hence, the need for meds—and for a second year of track, too.

Yay for Nick!!

So, what’s it like to watch him with the other kids—typical kids? Well, my feelings are a bit twofold, as one can only imagine… On one fold, I love watching him, and sometimes I get to see how he fits right in with the other kids... I mean, running is a solitary sport, right? Up until it’s not. Right? Now you must be thinking: what the heck is she talking about; what’s she sniffin’ over there in Plymouth??

Nick is not really a smiling kind of kid. He’s happy, but he doesn’t always show it on his face. So when he’s at track, one can’t tell what he’s thinking… I know he likes track, otherwise he wouldn’t want to go, and I certainly wouldn’t make him. So I have to believe that he is happy in track and enjoys himself—as he has told me that he does, the many times that I’ve asked. The other side of this fold, is that when I do watch him at track, I feel like I’m chewing on my heart, for reason I’m going to tell you now.

On this particular day, it was raining outside and practice was held in the gym, running and playing racing games, etc….

And I had to witness him play a group racing game (team game), and did.

How’d it go? Well I got that ache in the pit of my stomach that said: shit, fuck and damn, why do I have to be here. Why couldn’t I just fantasize that he is doing great in a group activity and smile obliviously and be happy.

Huh? Why? Why did I have to witness this…?

Kids were broken up in two teams: one team on one side of the gym, and the other on the opposite. They were competing with each other for the team that could run the fastest, while touching various lines. The team opposite Nick’s ran first: the clock stopped at 20 seconds…

When his team was next, I held my breath and watched: the time stopped at 25 seconds. And any clueless spectator would have been able to deduct that it would have been a much better time if Nick hadn’t slowed them down.

Shit, crap, damn…was that a moan I heard from a few of his teammates?? And were they all watching me because they knew who I was?

Now I am not picking on my son; I love him dearly—obviously—but he didn’t even seem to try. The buzzer sounded and the kids ran, and Nick was about 10 seconds behind them and he wasn’t working hard to catch up… even slowing at some points.

The heaviness I felt was not that he was slower than the other kids… even on the field, he is slow at the races, as if he thinks that racing is about going as fast as he wants to: like there’s no team spirit, no rules. I don’t care if he comes in last, but I do care if the other kids are wishing and hoping that he isn’t on their team.

Remember picking teams in high school? Someone was always picked last, and that meant that they didn’t want that person on their team.

And I can’t help to think that that’s my son, too.

It’s like chewing on your heart to watch…it really is.

4 comments:

Danna Banana said...

I don't know why but it is really emotional for me to watch my kids participate in anything.

Maddy said...

Yup I think that would pretty much wipe me out too.

Hoping that you enjoy [some of] tomorrow.
Best wishes

Shea's Mom said...

I know, one of the most painful things is seeing your kids not quite fitting in. Typical or not.

One thing to remember is that you are going to be his mom for a lot longer that those kids will ever be around judging him.

Even though it hurts like hell, it really is fleeting. there is a place in the world for Nick and you are helping him find it.

I am just so impressed that he is interested in participating.

Hang in there and Happy Mom's day. You are a great one!

FrankandMary said...

I just happened upon your blog. I've "worked" some sporting events for charity & I also got so very emotional, it would just HIT ME.
Happy Mother's Day to you. ~Mary