As an elementary kid, I was never too excited about field day. According to my dad, I was a bit of a girly girl (still am!).
If there was an event in daisy chain necklace making, I would have won the gold. If there was an event in skipping while singing, I would have been given a trophy. If there was an event in twirling in circles until falling down dizzy, I would have received a first place ribbon. Sadly, none of these options were available when I was in school.
We did have sack potato races, balloon tosses, one-legged races and egg/spoon races. Those were fun.
At Squishy and String Bean’s school, their field day was much different. Gone were the sack potatoes. Vanished were the balloon tosses. Abandoned were the eggs and spoons. All were replaced by Olympic style battles fit for Odysseus and a slew of Titans. Or Katniss, her faithful Peeta and all of the psycho warriors from District 1.
As for preparing for the exclusive Field Day, there has been extensive training in gym class. For the last month (I am not kidding) there have been time trials, practice races, and even qualifying heats. With all of the suspense surrounding the day, both dudes were anxious and a little concerned about their events. Who can blame them? Training for the summer Olympics sounds vaguely similar to the festivities known as Field Day.
“Mom, you have to pack us water bottles for field day tomorrow. It is going to be hot and we may get dehydrated,” he stated as if he was a pediatrician.
“OK. Gotcha. Anything else you need to get through these mighty games?” I asked, without a hint of sarcasm.
“We need to bring our best to the field,” he said. I wondered if I let him watch Percy Jackson too often.
Field Day is serious business.
Prior to the start of the extreme
games fun, as all of the students are gathered outside gripping their water bottles, an announcement came on the PA informing the students of the intricate procedures. Maybe all of the important items were scattered around the cornucopia or something.
The static voice resembled something like, “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.” Oops – not really. More like, “Off to the races we go!”
And, with that, String Bean and Squishy were both sacrificed for the games.
After school, there were long faces. There was only one ribbon given to my dudes. It was the magical Participation ribbon that only first and second graders receive. Wise fourth grade String Bean, tired from the exhausting day and discouraged from being ribbonless, dismissed himself to the basement to play on the iPad. His parting words as he melted down the steps were of the final PA announcement that said, “Congratulations to the winners, and better luck next year to everyone else.”
Squishy lagged behind and, in his first grade humor, regaled tales of his success in the tug-of-war.
“Did you get a ribbon for tug-of-war?” I asked him.
“Nope. But we were the champs!” he exclaimed, “And I was the reason we won because I was in the back of the line and used my massive muscles to pull the other side down.”
“Why didn’t you get a ribbon?” I inquired.
“Hmmm,” he pondered, “We really didn’t need a ribbon. Our teacher told us we were awesome and gave us a hug. That was better than a stupid ribbon,” he said with a big smile on his face.
“I agree, Squishy, I agree.”
True triumph. Almost better than a daisy chain necklace. May the odds ever be in your favor.