Maddie ran her last cross-country meet this afternoon, and it was the first time I’ve been able to attend since her very first race. Since the race was actually held at the community college where I teach, I was able to let my students out of class 1/2 hour early and get there just in time to see her start…
…and come in 3rd place!!! Maddie ran a very hilly mile in 7.51 minutes. What a way for her to end her season. She got to stand on the platform with the other winners and she even received a certificate! I was so proud.
Even better, her coach told me that Maddie is a born runner and has improved so much this season, especially in her times, that this may be her most natural talent. Having never been athletic as a child and always feeling like I missed out on what could have been some great experiences IF I had only tried out for a sport, I’m feeling super grateful that Maddie may have found something she enjoys and is talented at.
To celebrate, we bought some pumpkins and had a carving party in our kitchen (If you can call Luke, Maddie, and I a party.). I was going to forgo carving pumpkins this year because, well, I hate it. It’s messy and I always burn the seeds, and pumpkins get moldy and gross way too quickly. And to be honest, Halloween is my least favorite holiday. I mean, I enjoy celebrating Rosh Hashanah with my sister and brother-in-law (who is, actually, Jewish) more than I enjoy dressing up and walking house to house. Plus, we’ve been so busy these past few weeks that Maddie didn’t even notice that we had not carved pumpkins yet.
Until today, on the way home from the meet, when she asked when we were planning on carving pumpkins.
“Right now,” I said, “In celebration of your awesome performance.” This was a brilliant lie mainly because it looked like I had this all planned and was an amazing mother, when in fact, I was now dreading the rest of the night.
So we bought pumpkins and set up for the mess:
And surprisingly, I had a great time. We all did. Yes, it was messy, but I didn’t burn any of the seeds and Maddie’s suggestion of sprinkling sugar and cinnamon on the seeds while they baked was an excellent and delicious idea.
Furthermore, Luke had a blast pulling out all the goop and seeds and using a marker to draw where he wanted the eyes, nose, and mouth to go. Maddie helped him a bit and I carved his pumpkin, but it came out looking pretty good. And Maddie used a stencil for half her pumpkin and then free drew the rest, which proved to be way more fun than just copying from someone else’s design.
(Maddie’s is on the left; Luke’s on the right)
I’m really thankful we carved pumpkins tonight. We all had so much fun. Between the race and the carving, I feel like I’ve had quite the excellent day.