Like a cheetah, lovely.

ameliaToday was Amelia’s last field day… next year she is off to Middle School. Damn time, just keeps chugging along. I guess I keep forgetting that it does that. Every day I look at her and I see her older and more capable, more responsible, more independent. Every once in a while, she looks at me and I see those pudgy cheeks and huge dimples- those bright blue eyes… that little giggle she had. It is hard to believe so many years have passed since she was new to this world…

Today’s events were different than years past, today was more like a track meet. The 5th graders trained for the events they chose to compete in. Amelia has been itching to do more track since she did an early morning running program last fall. She found something she really enjoys, and I love watching her while she runs.

The morning started with all of the kids on the bleachers in their classroom color shirts chatting and hanging until the moment they have waited weeks and beyond for. As Amelia headed over to her station I told her- try your best butthead and give it ALL of it, don’t save any, give it all. I actually prayed that my girl would win, I wanted her to feel that rush and the confidence along with it. To revel in doing something strong I could not make her run faster; her teacher could not demand she run fast… it was all her.

This event did not disappoint. It was like 15 seconds of adrenaline. I know I want my daughter to be proud of others for winning, a high five and a smile. I want her to want to win, but be okay when she doesn’t.  I want her to remember it is a little deal and if she wants a win badly to keep working and trying. I really wanted to see her win today- for her. I wanted her to succeed in something that involved anyone else, that was just hers. I wanted her to feel proud of herself and confident that she is one strong lovely.

I saw it in her face. She wanted it. I am grateful for the polarized sunglasses on my face… there are perks to having super sensitive blue eyes. She wanted that win, she pushed with her all. It was perfect. She was so proud. She got 1st. I have seen her struggle so many times to find her place, to find where she belongs… and today I saw a piece of her I rarely see. She was confident and proud, in the right ways. I felt proud to be her mom today… I always am, but today I own a 1st place 50M Dash winner chick. Her dimples were the brightest light…

She finished and came running up to me and her other family. She was so happy. Amelia posed for pictures with her ribbon and she just smiled… I was holding it together, just barely. I was thankful for those sunglasses…

… Then Amelia’s Grandfather said “You ran fast like a cheetah.” She did. Madeline loved running. She would just run circles with her friend in Kindergarten. She was my biggest fan when I ran. She would run and jump in the leaves saying ‘Mommy I can run faster than a cheetah’… those words threw me into the hard. She did. She ran so fast, with a look of determination. She ran like a cheetah… like Madeline liked to run.

All of the sudden I started to think of how this is my first 5th grade field day, but it shouldn’t be. I should have known the good spots to sit and where I could see Amelia best. This should not have been my first 5th grade field day. I realized that I was missing my 1st cheetah, Madeline. I saw how big those kids had gotten, and how tall some were. I thought about what Madeline would look like cheering her sister on. I also thought of what Madeline looked like, today, cheering her sister on.

I bet Madeline was super proud of her lil’ cheetah, her Meme. I bet Mads was right there, helping to fuel her determination. I bet Madeline was glad to hear her Grandpa describe Amelia’s event that way. I was. I hurt, but I was so glad he said what I thought.

I miss my cheetah. I love my runner, my Meme. I love my lil’ baseball chick, my Lucy. I miss my Madeline… she was my arrow. I miss that Amelia has to be the grown up, mature sister. Death sucks. Like is hard. Wins are amazing. Loss is necessary. Running is good for the soul, and a piece of her soul. It is a piece of my Amelia’s soul.

So… a 50M win might be a little deal to some, it is a big deal to us. It is a builder. It is a moment of connection. It is determination and commitment I have never seen in my girl. It is a big deal here at the Musto Estate.

Thank you God for the answer, for the cheetahs. I love them all… I miss my lovely.  Help me build up my Meme to be strong, kind and fast…


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