Friday, October 14, 2011
I really wanted Samantha to set a PR (personal record) today in her cross country meet. I wanted it because she wanted it, and she’s been busting her chops to make it happen. She was incredibly disappointed last week when her expectation to PR was foiled, and I wanted her to see that hard work eventually pays off.
I really wanted her to PR.
I fed her a carb filled dinner the night before.
I wrote an encouraging note and put it in her lunch.
I made sure she had a full water bottle and we both climbed in the car to head for school. “I love you Mom,” she said as I dropped her off. “I love you too,” I managed before she shut the door and I watched her blond hair and green eyes disappear through the double doors.
Later this afternoon I showed up to the race across town. With some time to spare before Sam's heat started I made my way up to the memorial on the hill, a place I had intended to visit before but ran out of time. I read the sign at the entrance outlining “no cell phones”, “no climbing on walls”, and additional requests for certain levels of propriety. I scanned the area to take note of the others meandering the memorial.
They were quiet, walking slowly and deliberately, and following all the rules. Circling the memorial they stopped to read the tributes engraved on the flattened, polished boulders.
It’s been over 11 years since Columbine, a massacre laid out on a group of students who had been dropped off that morning of April 20th just like Samantha had been this morning. I walked the path that honored the victims through stories, accomplishments, their goals and beliefs. They were deeply personal and I was deeply moved.
It’s been a long time since that awful day.
I came to the race wanting Samantha to PR. I left feeling grateful just to have her here.
Grateful she could run at all.