Do you remember your “Track & Field” Day at school when you were young? My best memories were of the celebrations at the end of the day with popsicle in hand. I guess I wasn’t much of an athlete when my memories are of popsicle’s and not the actual events. I do remember the high jumping, that darn bar! It always kind of scared the heck of me. Oh those ribbons they were always such a big part of the day. So many colours and they would be worn proudly on our shirts.
What happens to the child who doesn’t receive a ribbon? And all of her classmates, or all of your school it seems is walking around giving high fives and you are quietly crying on the sidelines. My heart broke today. I attended my daughters “Track & Field Day” at her school for a few hours and watched this little “ribbon-less” girl crying because she didn’t have any ribbons on her shirt.
I hadn’t planned on attending but driving home from an early morning seminar at the local library I felt the tug of my car to go “surprise my girl and give her a few cheers”. I felt I had done my (mommy) duty, as I had volunteered earlier in the week for her school trip. A mothers job is never done!
The day was held at Marden Park, a local indoor arena. Just a short bus drive from the school. My Meaghan had been talking about this for the last week. She said she wasn’t sure if she wanted to run the 400m or not? I said go for it girl! She did it and I think she got a 6th place ribbon. I didn’t get to see her run but I was so proud of her, as I knew from her talks she was a little nervous.
I was lucky to watch her perform her last 2 events. I watched her do the long jump. She has long legs and is very tall so I thought – Ok good she will do well! She placed “3rd”, my Meg’s said “It was her Best Ribbon of the Day!”
I was cheering and clapping for all the little girls in her class – everyone was so happy. I was so proud of them all! One little girl didn’t receive any ribbons and my heart just melted. She didn’t seem too bothered by it, however there was another girl (I think she was a year or 2 younger than my Meg’s quietly crying because she didn’t have any ribbons. I was so upset I asked the lady handing out the ribbons if she could have a ribbon. She said everyone gets a ribbon, she said she would talk to the teacher in charge. I just thought “oh please” just give her a ribbon now. Everyone kept saying she would receive a colourful “participation Ribbon” tomorrow. I thought she needs a ribbon now! Why would they wait until tomorrow. Having picked up my daughter from school that same day, I asked the administrator when the kids who didn’t win ribbons would receive their ribbon. There was a teacher standing there and she said she was happier and she got a ribbon.
Replaying the scenario in my mind, I wondered what I as a parent could have done? What would I want done if it were my child? After all I did know both of the children’s mothers. I felt totally at a loss as I didn’t know what to do. I mentioned it to a few teachers and they made there comments and I suggested to my daughter and her 2 friends that they offer her a ribbon. I think they would have but their next event came up as I was talking to them and then they got all excited and ran to it, while this little girl was left weeping on the sidelines.
Why does life have to be so hard at times? Especially when they are so young and innocent. You just want to shelter your kids from all the hurts, sorrows and pains you know they will encounter. I know “Track & Field Day” is supposed to teach kids about sportsmanship, working, winning & loosing. But why not give everyone a ribbon. How about offering those other 3 ribbons (at the event). Talking with a friend today, (a former teacher) she suggested offering all of the kids a ribbon before they start the day with a little talk about what the ribbons represent and about winning and loosing. How about offering those other 3 ribbons (at the event)? Who knows maybe those 2 little girls who didn’t receive those ribbons today will turn into competitive athletes someday?
I guess one of my lessons I want to teach my children is it is not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game!
HONOURABLE MENTION – PARTICIPANT – PERSONAL BEST
My best part of the day was when she got home from school she quietly said to me
“Mom I am really glad you came today!”
Talk soon ~