The other night, I finished dinner preparations well ahead of schedule and found myself with extra time. I asked the kids what they wanted to do. They opted for one of their favored forms of entertainment: racing each other around the house with me as time keeper.
I grabbed my stopwatch and positioned myself with a tall glass of iced tea on the porch. In groups of two, the kids ran all the way around the house; two laps per race. They kept running heats until it was time for me to go put the food out on the table. As they headed in to wash their hands I grabbed my empty iced tea glass and noticed Leif was standing at my elbow (one of his favorite places to be). Leif said he wanted to race me. I reminded him that it was dinnertime and he promised that as soon as I beat him we could be done. I figured I had this one in the bag. After all, he is a 5-year-old and I am twice his height with legs twice as long. I don't purport to be the next great sprinter, but I run regularly. And although I warned him I could easily beat him, he was eager. I put on my running shoes and agreed to his terms.
We both yelled, "Ready? Set? GO!" and that little 5-year-old left me in his dust. I ran hard. He giggled the whole way. I wore running shoes. He wore floppy old crocs and lost a shoe once in the course of the race. Most damaging to my pride was the fact that he stopped to put it back on and he still smoked me.
While I panted my way across the finish line (our sidewalk) Leif patted me on the back and said, "I beat you, Mom. But that's OK; you can sit down now. I think you need to." Little beast. It's a good thing he's cute.