You know those moments when hindsight is a real bitch? When you can look back and know clearly you’ve screwed up? Yeah. Those moments, especially in parenting, are such fun. Not.
We did the Color Run (and note, that’s their spelling, not mine) a few weeks ago, and I thought it would be awesome. Because it’s the Color Run and that’s what they say. In fact, I’m pretty sure their logo states it’s the happiest 5kms on earth. Which is a big call, let’s be honest.
And it while it certainly wasn’t the UN-happiest 5 kms I’ve ever done, I’m pretty ok with saying they might have stretched the truth in their marketing a tiny bit.
It wasn’t all their fault. It never is. It was raining, which clearly the good people who organised it had no control over. But organising a night time event in the middle of April in Melbourne, should probably be a good tip that it’s at least going to be unpredictable.
So with the rain, which made everything slippery, and then the whole running in the dark thing, it wasn’t off to a great start.
But it wasn’t even all of that. I can put that aside. It was my own lack of preparing Poss that let us down the most.
I guess I figured that because she’d done so well at the Weetbix TRY events, that she’d be ok. I mean, how different could it be? Turns out, that other than the fact they are both events that involve runners, it’s pretty freaking different.
So, I didn’t do any of the steps I’d so diligently written out on here for those events. I didn’t really even drill into the details with her. Yep, there’d be lots of people, and yep, they were going to throw chalk at us, but no, it wouldn’t hurt. And that was pretty much it.
What was I thinking?
At one point she turned to me, after the millionth person tried to high five her as she ran away from them, and said “seriously, they have to stop touching me, it’s SO FREAKING GERMY”. And then we both kind of looked at each other and laughed, because what else do you do?
There was way too many people, the noise was too loud, it was dark and late, the chalk smelt funny and tasted even worse, and the volunteers were too enthusiastic. There were bubbles we hadn’t considered, and the foam machine, which she loved, but it came completely out of the blue.
And you know what? Five kilometres is a long way to walk in the rain, in a crowd of about 10 thousand people, with a tutu on. Especially the first week back of school.
While she held out at the event, like the trooper she is, we all paid for it for the week afterwards; tears, shut down, anxiety, lack of sleep and arguments. Oh the arguments… you know the ones where you just have to look at them for the screaming to start? Yeah. Those.
But you know what? We did it. And sure, we’ll probably never do it again, but we did it. She did it. And at the time, she smiled and laughed, and afterwards, I learned a valuable lesson.
I’m all for stretching Poss, for giving her a chance to shine – because she so often smashes our expectations out of the park and leaves us all in her dust.
But sometimes, I need to stop and remember what goes into that success. How stupidly hard she has to work for it. All the things that make it easier for her to step into the unknown and succeed.
And then I need to remember to give the process and the preparation, the respect it deserves.
Yeah. Hindsight, she’s a bitch.