It is Sports Day at school today : juniors will race this morning and seniors this afternoon and the sky is blue, so it looks like a promising day for them. It is a day that I have tried to attend in the past, to be able to cheer the children along and to mingle with parents too. Sadly 6th form do not have any races to participate in, although the more able young people help to serve refreshments to the parents. So Joshua will not have a role today, other than spectator if they decide to bring him downstairs. At previous Sports Days he has been dragged over the finish lines by a range of enthusiastic Teaching Assistants and he has enjoyed the experience, even though I am not convinced that he truly knew what was going on.
I am neither sporty nor competitive and so as a child, I disliked Sports Day intensely at school. I was neither successful not motivated and my greatest success was an unbelievable third place in an obstacle race one year at primary school – that remains my best sporting achievement, along with playing hockey for my High School on one occasion! Whereas my husband is both athletic and competitive, so who knows which of us Joshua, if he were able bodied, might have taken after. As he is, it is clear that his outlook on races is similar to my own – a bit of fun but nothing much more, and if it becomes too much effort, then give up.
Given that Sport is neither mine nor Joshua’s thing and that he will not be participating, why do I feel compelled to attend this afternoon, if only for an hour over lunch? I want to see other families that I know at school and to cheer their children along. But I am very aware that this will be my penultimate opportunity to attend a school Sports Day and so I feel that, while I can, I should. From September onwards, I will be counting down our last Harvest festival, last Christmas show, last carol service, last Easter bonnet parade and in the summer term , our last Sports Day, so these will all become precious events and memories in my mind. They are something that while your child is at school, you rather take for granted and they can even be awkward to attend, fitting them in around work. But I will make time for them all next year. My Mum attended a harvest festival one year and she came to a couple of Christmas shows,and she always loved to see Joshua’s school and to meet the children and staff that she had heard so much about. She never came to a Sports Day, although my local families do bring grandparents and siblings along, as they are occasions that are shared in common with mainstream schools.
So I will go along for an hour this afternoon and cheer some families along and who knows, if I am lucky, I might even get a glimpse of my son while I am there!