Don't you just love watching your child grow, develop, and his or her own way?

Not long ago, I blogged about how parenting is the hardest job in the world.  The blog became very long and complicated. So, I made the decision to revisit the topic later on.  So here it is!

Ah yes, I got the inspiration to write part 2 this week.  My daughter, Allie is on her school’s cross-country team this year.  This is a big thing because she’s not all that comfortable with competition, game day, winning or losing. Well, last week she entered her first race.  She was super-pumped the night before! I was really happy to see her so excited and motivated to do well.

Well now, the one rotten (and ironic) feature of being at TEACHER AND A MOM, is that I often can’t make it to any school events that my own children take part in.  Yeah sure, I coach my school volleyball team, produce and manage our school shows, run assemblies….but I can’t make it to my own kids events.  Well, this time I was in luck! I had last period spare – so I left the school and headed to the race!!

I picked-up Allie from school, then picked up her dad and brother. We were all off to watch the race.  Allie was vibrating and bouncing like a pinball! I was a tad worried that being so hyper was draining her valuable energy.  Finally, it was time for her age division to report to the start line.  The boys and girls were racing together.  Oh no! This worried me because I felt Allie might see all those boys up front and end up striving to match their pace.  Well, the whistle blew and they were off! Allie set a nice easy pace, staying close to the back of the pack.  She trotted through the first part of the route, hanging back nicely.  As she approached her dad and I, we shouted out to her, her pace quickened with every word.  She was building strength, her smile beamed.  If the race ended there, I would have been happy.  She was IN the competition and she was motivated to do well.  She kept on running, no cramps, no slowing, one little rest walk….and she kept on runnin’.  My heart beamed – her dad screamed, “Get goin’ Allie, you’re almost done!!”

Well Allie kept on running, with a smile on her face the entire time.  She rounded the final curves, bounded up the last hill.  She hustled through to the end…and she finished.  Her dad and I sprinted over to give her the biggest hug we could.  When our eyes met, we all felt like champions.  Allie was screaming and shouting, jumping higher than a grasshopper! She had come in second place.  Well, if I was the type to cry (which most of you know, I don’t…birth defect I think),  I would have wept.  Of all the kids out in that race, Allie really needed that.  She needed to know that her hard work and dedication to running had just paid off.  She needed to know that by not giving up, she accomplished something great.  She finished that race, wearing her school colours and carrying a very important ribbon at the end. In my mind, that ribbon was the sign of things to come for, Allie…great things.

So, there you have it! This post captures the other state of parenting that I noted in my last parenting post – State A parenting. I talked about how State A parenting is when you are completely content with the natural rewards that come with watching your children grow, develop, and succeed on their own.  Well, that day covered all the elements! I watched Allie through that race.  I thought about how far she had come.  She won, the moment she set foot on the starting line. I watched her grow, develop, and succeed… all in one race.

I can’t wait until I get to do that again.

As for my other little man? I look forward to blogging about how he brought me to State A parenting too! He’s my lil’ comedian – so I can’t help but laugh at him all the time.

What makes you proud to be a parent?