I feel very lucky to live in a “fun neighborhood.” On a random Tuesday or Wednesday, you can always find a few neighbors willing to hang out in the cul-de-sac, or grill out in someone’s backyard. Tonight, we are planning on going over to one of our neighbors’ houses for a barbecue and “yard games.” Do you know what this sounds like to me? Adult Field Day. And, I don’t know about anyone else, but that greatly excites me. I would absolutely LOVE to play a few games of capture the flag, do a three-legged race or two, or dominate the competition in a wheelbarrow race with my husband. I guess the years have helped to erase the anxiety and bad memories of what Field Day used to mean for me…
I was a very sweet and friendly (and yes, kind of chubby) child, but I think it’s safe to say that I wasn’t what you would have called athletic, sporty, or even particularly coordinated. It was not for lack of effort, on my part, or for lack of encouragement, on the part of my parents. They would try to get me excited about Field Day each year by making a team t-shirt and giving me a little pep talk about how Field Day is just supposed to be about fun, and not just winning (and I think there may have been a few years where my mom promised me that I could get a new Barbie if I had a good attitude about the whole thing). Ok, that was all well and good, but it didn’t really hold true when I had my entire 3rd grade class screaming at me to run faster, and then letting out a collective groan as I lost the race. Field Day used to stir up the same level of anxiety that was normally reserved for doctor’s appointments or trips to the confessional. I remember not sleeping very well the night before, because I was so preoccupied with the following questions/worries: 1. What if no one picks me for a team? 2. If I do get picked, what if I’m picked last? 3. What if I have to run against one of the “fast kids”? 4. Is there any way that God could possibly grant me super-speed for tomorrow?
Isn’t it horrible how tormented as I was by this silly little event? It should have just been an opportunity to have some fun and skip out on class work, but if you would have asked me, I much rather would have been inside doing work instead of losing a relay race. Now, as an adult, my feelings have changed a bit. I would relish the chance to have a “re-do” at some of these events that ridiculed me as a child, which is why I think I am so excited about tonight. I may not have been very fast at 8 years old, but at 30, I can hold my own. Maybe I see it as my chance to “rewrite history,” but whatever it’s purpose, I’m going to be the fastest potato sack racer they have ever seen.
(And yes, I did have the sweetest parents in the world for trying to “pump me up” in any way they could, but now I’m feeling kind of bad that I don’t have a homemade, personalized t-shirt to intimidate the other neighbors…)