Saturday was full of ups and downs. It started with a crisp 7.5 mile run with my friends in the 25-degree weather. (I'll have a Dream Girl update tomorrow).
My day was scheduled to be full of sporting events. Not the usual college football that I watch, but a swim meet an hour and a half away, and the first regular season basketball game. Of course, the snow started to fall before I left.
I have no practical shoes for snow. I have clogs and crocs and high-heeled boots. I ended up wearing my hiking boots with jeans, which just makes me feel a little too manly. But I drove through the pelting snow and made it to Wright State University before the first race began. This was Tucker's first high school swim meet invitational.
The swim coach put him in the "B" relays at first. Then, after he swam on Tuesday, she moved him up to the "A" relays.
"She thinks I'm bad," he said.
"You'll just have to prove it to her," I said. And he did.
He came in first in the 50 back stroke and broke the old meet record. Then, as his team and another team seesawed back and forth in first place, they lined up to swim the final event. A 200-free relay.
I was nervous. I shook my leg, I screamed, I smacked my hand against my jeans in place of clapping. "Go! Go!" I yelled as the boys each dived in and swam. They were slightly behind the other team throughout. The final swimmer drew even and out touched the other team, winning the race by two hundredths of a second.
"Whoooo!" I yelled loud so the swimmers would hear. All of the parents had erupted into cheers and celebrations. Our boys' team won the meet against the 12 other teams there.
Then I slogged out into the parking lot. I was going to be late for the basketball game which was taking place an hour away. I turned on the windshield wipers to try to scrape the snow off and I searched futilely for a scraper. I used a CD case -- the Blues Brothers. It worked fairly well.
I had to slow down for a few accidents and one tow truck pulling a car out of a ditch. I made it to the basketball game at the start of the second quarter.
One of the dads explained that Spencer had been in the game but was called for traveling because one of the big guys on the other team was pushing him hard enough to scooch him along the court. Any time Spencer went into the game, the fat guys were put back in by the other team. Spencer's added muscle was no match for these 200 plus pounders. At one point, one of the moms pointed out the fat guy had carried Spencer about six feet.
Things did not go well for Spence or his team. He missed four free throws. His rebounding was done, not with sticky hands, but like a volleyball game as the ball was hit and flew into the air. The coach stopped yelling and sat on the bench. They ended up losing by about 17 points.
I parked Spencer's car at the gym and walked the mile home in the quiet night around 10 p.m. The sidewalk shone with ice and I windmilled my arms a few times to keep my balance.
When Spencer arrived home, he said, "It's just embarrassing to try that hard and be that bad."
"Everybody has a bad night," I told him. "You can't quit trying. Then you'd hate it."
"I did quit trying at the end," he said. I nodded.
That's when the coach finally took him out. The coach could tell.
Someday, maybe both my boys will have great sport days or great academic days or great days in love. For now though, as volatile teenagers, they have up and down days, usually all within 24 hours.
I'm glad I can be there for them, whether to celebrate their wins or mourn their losses.
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