I heard a voice tonight. The kids were in pajamas. We had just said our family prayer and were playing tic, tac, toe, hit me high, hit me low, hit me three times in a row, buddy got hit by a UFO and what I heard was ROCK and so I played rock and I crushed all of their scissors and we walked up the stairs of this big old house and shared hugs and kisses and good solid intentions of seeing one another in the morning.
As I walked downstairs to the box of wine that helps me unwind most nights, I thought about my boy so nervous this morning before his big fourth-grade, year-end race. He was pacing, sticking close to me and SB while his buddies wrestled and threw around a ball and he told us that bubbles were popping in his guts and he wanted to know why it felt like he had to go to the bathroom even though he knew in his heart that he didn’t have to go.
“It’s nerves,” I said.
And he ran away to the bathroom in the school to empty whatever he could that was building inside.
Three minutes later, he was at the starting line, jockeying for position and I heard a voice say, “He’s got it wrapped up. Just watch and enjoy.”
He ran a mile in seven minutes and four seconds and beat out every other kid in his grade. The volunteer parents were impressed. They had been keeping track of the races all day. Our boy was the fourth fastest in school, just seconds behind the studs of fifth grade.
He took the victory in stride. He was humble. He knows that it is only a race and that running doesn’t last forever. That there is much more to come. And none of it can be known until we know it.
“He’s gonna be a star,” a voice said. And there was nothing I could do but believe it.