In fifth grade I participated in my first track meet.
I was NERVOUS.
Mom came to support me.
Track meet culture and etiquette was unfamiliar ground.
Having my mom there meant a lot to me. What I didn't understand, was that by being there, she was entitled to stand on the edge of the track and yell my name and cheer me on. I ran my best. As I rounded the corner of the track to finish the mile, all I could hear was my mother's voice.
I felt embarrassed.
"RUN Jenny! You can do it! Run as FAST as you can!"
It was overwhelming.
I wanted her to stop.
She wasn't a mind reader, so I took matters into my own hands.
I stopped abruptly on the track, STOMPED my foot and yelled back.
"I'M DOING THE BEST I CAN!"
Then I finished.
We laugh about it now, but I feel bad about my stomping. And yelling. I want a do over. I want to run towards the finish line and hear my mom yelling
"RUN Jenny! You can do it!"
This time I will understand what she's really saying:
"I love you Jenny! I don't care if you finish first or last--GOOD FOR YOU for running the race!"