This past Saturday, my son had a track meet.
Actually, it was an “invitational” track meet, and there was a good possibility that as a 6th grader (and one of the youngest on the team) my son wouldn’t be competing. However, the coach wanted all the kids there so they could “learn”. Since most of his track meets are on days that I have to work, and they are almost all an hour away from here making it impossible for me to go, I went to the track meet to show my support for his team.
We got up at the crack of dawn to get him to the school so he could ride the bus with the team. We followed the bus to the school that was hosting the track meet, which was a pretty slow and painful ride, let me assure you.
We sat in the bleachers behind his team for about 20 minutes, when my husband finally realized that I was shivering rather violently and was desperately attempting to cover my ears with my jacket collar and half of my face with my thin scarf. It was so windy, and at that time I think it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 degrees. I don’t do cold, people. The track meet hadn’t started yet, so he took me to one of the stores nearby the school, where I bought a thick, fleecy, hooded sweatshirt and a flannel blanket. Y’all, I really don’t wear sweatshirts and I can’t even remember the last time I wore a hoodie, but I sure rocked ‘em that day! I felt so much better, wearing my long sleeve shirt, a sweatshirt with the hoodie over my ears, a heavy jacket, and a pair of gloves. Oh, and wrapped up in my blanket too.
We soon got the list of events and the participants, and sure enough, my son wouldn’t be running. He was a little miffed about that, but I don’t think any of the 6th grade boys ran. Eventually, the jerk announcer said that the track teams and coaches had to sit on one side of the stadium, and all family and spectators had to sit on the opposite side of the stadium…which I thought was a bunch of crap, but we relented and changed sides when the murmurs of team disqualifications started making their way through the crowd. By that time, I was sharing the blanket with my son, who was also freezing. So when we changed sides, I left him my blanket and JB left him his hat.
I spent the rest of the day so cold that I wondered when I finally stopped shivering if it was a bad thing. My feet felt like blocks of ice, and I know for a good long while I couldn’t feel my toes. I very much regretted changing my mind about the fur-lined boots that I’d taken off and left in the closet at home. Every time I had to get up to walk somewhere, my knees ached so bad from the cold that it took me several minutes to walk normally without pain, and I’m fairly sure I looked like an ape trying to make my way down the bleachers. I was pretty much in misery. And my outdoor man husband laughed at my pain.
Technically, my son was supposed to ride the bus back home with the team. But we were so over that day that we hastily wrote a note to the coach (on the meet itinerary, no less) saying he’d be riding home with us. Thank goodness for the new car’s dual climate control, because the whole way home (about an hour’s drive) I kept my side of the car set to 74 degrees with the seat warmers on full blast…and still never really felt warm. My husband put his side on an insane 69 degrees and turned his seat warmers OFF.
I told my son later that night that he’d sure better know how much his mother loves him. I woke up at the butt crack of dawn on a Saturday, to drive an hour to sit on ice-cold bleachers in 30 degree blasts of wind for 6 hours, all to cheer on other people’s kids. I even gave him my BLANKET, my shield against the Arctic wind (and the ice-cold bleachers.) I couldn’t feel my rear end for hours! HOURS.
The things mothers do for their children…