This Is Me, Speechless!

How proud can one mother be!

It was my son’s first national competition and he finished 12th out of 30 gymnasts.

I was sitting in the grandstands with my mom, brother and sister in law next to me. Me with my heart in my throat and my stomach full of these GIANT butterflies… I can’t imagine how he must have been feeling! There I am, watching my son, and I’m wishing I could talk to him– just quickly, to remind him to keep his legs and arms straight, to keep his feet together, to look straight in front of him, that I could somehow give him a tip on how to ignore everyone around him so he doesn’t get distracted (like I haven’t already said it all.) I wondered if he’d got enough sleep, if he’d eaten enough, if he was drinking enough water, if I’d been supportive enough without putting unnecessary pressure on him. I wondered what his coach was telling him, was the coach any help? I was so hoping he’d have fun… “Oh please– please– please– let him bring a medal home. Maybe I can ask them to give him a special one ‘coz he’s so special, no that’s ridiculous, oh hell– maybe I should have just stayed at home!”

Is this just me– how on earth do other moms deal with things like this?

Anyhoo, the knucklehead is really proud of himself. He competed with the top 30 in the country and he’s ready to try again next year. I think maybe next year I’ll get me some tranquilisers or something…
I thank God every day that I can give my son the opportunity to do what he’s good at.

the tension!

Its the knucklehead’s biggest ever gymnastics competition tomorrow- the national gymnastics games for pre-level to level 3 and last year he JUST missed qualifying for nationals.
I am trying very hard to be calm for his sake, but I’m nervous as hell. I am doing everything in my power not to think about Saturday because when I do its instant butterflies!
But it IS a national competition!
I CANNOT imagine how he must be feeling, he seems remarkably calm to most people, but I know him well enough to be able to tell the difference between his nervous silence & just plain calm…
But it IS a national competition!
The competition is huge logistically too, over 1000 gymnasts competing in just 2 days. I must say to the organisers credit, they do remarkably well keeping everything on time and on track.
I pray for the knucklehead’s sake that he’ll do well, maybe even bring home a medal. But I don’t want to say anything because his disappointment when he doesn’t get one is palpable! At the same time – I don’t want him to think that I’m not supporting him when I don’t say anything about medals…
But it’s a national competition!

Okay, So My Jaw Was On The Floor!

Sunday’s total F1 farce by far overshadows the Michael Schumacher debacle of a few years ago- in Austria I think it was- where Rubens Barrichello had to move over for Schumacher at the last moment and made it so glaringly obvious what he was doing.
It will also live for a very long time in the memories of F1 fans and critics alike.
And I’ll wager the whole debacle will be partly blamed on Ferrari anyway- because the demand for a chicane on turn 13 made by the Michelin shod teams was neither opposed nor supported by Ferrari. “They” will say again that the FIA panders to Ferrari and to Michael Schumacher. This is of course the anti-F1 contingent’s favourite argument!
Granted, seven of the ten teams boycotting the race gave Ferrari the ideal opportunity to catch up a little in this season’s point standings. But that’s not the kind of racing I like to see. This season has been hugely disappointing for us Ferrari fans but it has been an exceptionally exciting season none the less.
I feel that the Indianapolis “hiccup” could have and should have been handled differently by all involved. Indianapolis was re-surfaced. Michelin knew this so maybe they should have done more testing to ensure they had the right tyres for the day. Maybe the FIA should have made a
plan to put in a chicane on turn 13, given the accidents during qualifying- especially since they had the time to do so. Or maybe the cars should even have raced- slower than usual and for no points since I think that would have been just as damaging for the teams. Too many “maybes”…
My bottom line is this- safety first- i think I would rather remember this race for the farce that it was than for a driver having been killed on the day.

Daddy’s Day

I love my dad. My dad knows I love and respect him, I just don’t think he knows how much. He worries about us and he loves us and when he can he helps us out but he never panders to us. He’s there to hold us tight when our hearts have been broken, and he’s there to congratulate us when we do well. He’ll drive to the ends of the earth at any time of day or night if one of us gets stuck somewhere. He’s not big on chatty conversations, but when he does talk, it’s really worth listening. If it wasn’t for my folks- I would probably have chickened out of a lot of things. A major part of my life is striving to make my parents proud- to show them that I actually was listening- most of the time at least.
And then there’s the other part of my annual father’s day.
There are often times when I wish I could see into Damien’s head. I’m sure every mom on the planet has wished she could read her child’s thoughts (when they’re not clearly visible in their eyes), but one of the few days that I would give almost anything for that ability is on Father’s Day.
I took a friends little boy to church with me on Sunday (let’s call him ‘T’). As we were sitting there, watching the other Sunday school children sing a song and then give little packets of Jelly Tots with messages on to all the dads in the congregation, it struck me that the little boys sitting on either side of me are both dad-less. T’s father pays maintenance and he sees him occasionally but its T’s paternal grandmother who makes a point of trying to see him when she can. Damien has never met his father, and though he asks the odd question once in a blue moon (like “does my father like animals?” and “do I look like my father?”) he has never actually asked to see him. I also try my utmost to be honest when Damien does ask a question. I always keep in mind that he may one day want to find this man and I don’t want him to remember all sorts of mean things I said when and if he does, I want Damien to make up his own mind. I would love to know what Damien is thinking on this particular day of the year, more to put my own mind at rest that he’s okay than for any other reason.
I must also confess, it’s the one day that I really wonder what Damien’s father is thinking and feeling. Knowing he has a son who he’s never met or seen. We agreed when we split up not to see each other or have any contact (see previous blogs for more details) and I am extremely grateful to him for leaving us alone. But I do wonder if he wonders, if his family wonders, if he’s thought about what he will say if Damien ever tracks him down. If he has any other children* silly and morose I know, but I can’t help it, especially given my relationship with my father.
Damien is truly blessed that he has such a big close knit family that loves him as much as they do, we would both be lost without them.
Oh, and I have also come to the conclusion that the mothers of children who are born out of wedlock (i.e. illegitimate) are “punished” for their indiscretions by having children who look unmistakably like their fathers- to remind us everyday that we’re never entirely off the hook!

If a cat has decided to love you, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Katrina Smythe.