Having a child brings with it an entire world of firsts..the first time the baby smiles, the first time he sits, the first step. Each of this opens up a world of infinite possibilities and almost boundless joy to the proud parents as they watch, their hearts in their mouths, while their precious one crosses yet another milestone, conquers yet another challenge with blithe ease. This weekend was one such precious capsule of time for us, to be stored away and cherished forever - kuttan's first sports day!!
The preparations had begun almost a month back and we had received invitations with detailed instructions on everything from what the child should wear to what they should have had for breakfast. Since we had gone on vacation for most part of the practice sessions, I was a little apprehensive about how kuttan will fare. I mean, I did'nt want him to embarrass himself by coming in last or anything. (Ok, ok...I did'nt want to be embarrassed if he came in last. I have this hopelessly competitive streak in me, especially when it comes to kuttan against other kids and can't bear for him to be less than the best in anything.)
I can almost hear my hubby saying 'obsessive compulsive moron' and shaking his head but this is my blog and I will write what I want to. Anyway, I am digressing. Coming back to the eve of the big day. I ran around the house and retrieved all pieces of kuttan's outfit as specified in the letter. Had it all laid out and gave a BIG build up to kuttan about how he needs to get up early and how exciting its going to be. Glared at hubby when he asked me, 'You mean for yourself, dont you?'. Bullied the couple of them into bed by 9 in the night despite loud protests from hubby coz I did'nt want to wake up late the next day morning. Spent half the night trying to sleep becoz I was too excited to sleep.
The next day morning dawned, all sunny and crisp. I love mornings like that, you know, all cold and bright. We headed off quite early to the ground where the meeting was supposed to be held. According to the letter, we were supposed to 'go to the ground, hand over the children to the staff and hide ourselves in the stand. Oh, and clap loudly in case we wanted to have a good time.
So anyways, there was us and all the other parents (read bakras and bakris who got dragged out of their beds on a saturday morning) and all the kids got whisked off to a makeshift shed. Kuttan kept peeping from under the shed and making sure we were'nt going anywhere. Some kids clung to their parents and refused to go into the shed. Some went into the shed and cried so hard that the caretakers came and took their parents too.
I sat there half proud and half hoping he would cry so that I could go and be with him too. Finally the MC arrived and the function started. The first event was going to be 'Rabbit race'. A ripple of laughter went through the crowd and everyone waited expectantly.
The MC said 'And the participants are, Arjun Mehra, Angel, kuttan and kiddo4' whose name I dont remember. My heart stopped. What does Rabbit race mean, I asked hubby desperately. Because if it means hopping to the finish line like a bunny its very difficult and kuttan will come last. In the meantime, they called for one parent to come and stand in the finish line so that the child will get inspired to come running fast towards us.
As usual, the shy person that I am, I nudged hubby forward. And there came my baby among a round of cheers and applause, looking so small and vulnerable in that big ground that it almost broke my heart, trying desperately to locate us among the sea of faces.
The crowd waited expectantly to find out what 'Rabbit race' was. I prayed. The whistle blew. And....nothing happened. 1 kid never got off the start line and stayed there crying. The other 3 ran in slow motion, all the while searching for their parents without realising that they are standing right there in the finish line.
I am very proud to say, that of the 3 who ran, kuttan came in second. I did a mental victory jig. Kuttan and hubby came back and I whispered to hubby, 'he came in second, you know'. Hubby looked at me as though I had said something in extremely bad taste..I mean these are all 2 and 3 year olds and who is even looking who came first. And then he leaned over and whispered to me, 'He almost made it to the first. A photo finish.'
Ah!! The parenting pride bug really does not spare anyone does it?
We went home a triumphant lot. Kuttan with his first certificate and a brainvita game that he broke in 10 minutes and Hubby and I with our memories. What a perfect day it was!!