Afternoon sunshine warmed Sparta Day’s festivities. The one-mile kid’s race drew a handful of red-shirted 5 through 7-year-olds. Parents busied themselves at forming kids’ wiggling bodies into a straight line.
A shrill whistle signaled the runners and spiked adrenalin. Starry-eyed winners, every one of them, were including John Jr., our 5-year-old son, with spindly, over-long legs. Suddenly, I wanted to scoop him into my safe arms. “Never mind.” I pushed away nervousness. “Let him run.”
“Get ready, get set…” Bang!
Parents began chiming, “Run fast!” “Don’t slow down.” “Run faster!”
My husband leapt onto the cinder track about 2 feet from John Jr.’s side, jog-trotting. Just close enough to link hearts.
“Pace yourself. Slow down.” Wise words spoken by a Father experienced at running life’s race.
This man knows full well about starting too fast, full of optimism. Then bam. Everyday pressures, family problems, unemployment, financial difficulties and health issues take their toll. Weariness and discouragement knock him windless.