Published On: Wed, Aug 2nd, 2017

800 meters of “I can do it mum”.

I am at the school athletics carnival and it’s a buzz of activity. Arriving late, once there my kids run to me on arrival excitedly telling me about their achievements. As Bella and Will return to their friends I sit with Aidan (my special needs child) who predictably pulls out a Rubix Cube from his school bag to play with, and then it came, a call for the 12 year old boys to do the 800 meters. Aidan very quickly puts his cube back into his bag and stands up. “Where are you going Aidan”? I ask. He then proceeds to tell me he wants to do the 800 meters. I express to him that I am not sure if it is the race for him and begin to try to explain how looooong it is. His reply… “I can do it mum”. Oh boy I think, and ask him if he is sure. He tells me yes and runs to the starting line leaving me in an uncertain state. The mummy kicks in. Oh no, he still has his jumper on, his drink bottle is still full, will he push himself to collapsing stage? My mind was racing, and then there was no time left to think, they were off!

Relax I tell myself, 200 meters and he will give up. Ok, ok so after the first lap he will opt out. Hmm perhaps he can go another 100? Well to this child’s credit he finished the race (be it last) and ran 80 percent of the time. As he came to the last 20 meters, he threw his hands up into the air in excitement. What an achievement. Aidan I am so proud of you. You continue to teach me new things every day and I will try harder to take your word for it more often. As I tell you every night… “I love you more than there’s stars”.

Danielle Mantakoul
Copyright 2017

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  1. This story about Will reminds me of my enthusiasm to enter the 50 meter breststroke at my first school swimming carnival – never having swam it before. I came in a (long) last to the applause of 100’s of parents. As a side note I was completely oblivious to their reasons for applauding but it stuck in memory as a positive event.

    We’ll be there in February, it would be great to catch up with you, Mark and the children. Have a merry christmas. W.

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