Swollen from my first experience as a proud dad after watching my son win something. Not like a soccer game, or a video game…but a bike race.
For the past couple weeks the boy’s been coming home blabbing about some bike race at the zoo nearby. My floppy ears perked up a bit, given that we’ve put some serious miles on his bike this summer. I was all: “that’s cool, dude. We should do it and see how you do!”
It was somewhat on my radar, but nowhere near like it was on his.
Come Sunday, he woke up pretty early. He climbed in bed and said, “daddy, I couldn’t stop dreaming about the bike race and buying a cap gun.” Oh…I forgot to mention, I promised him I’d buy him a cap gun the day before, because he broke a catapult gun a friend had given him that day.
I’m getting sidetracked here, but bare with me… I fucking hate Wal-Mart. I don’t mean hate like I don’t like it. I mean hate like I want some science experiment to go completely wrong so that a huge giraffe is born and goes on a tirade obsessing over eating Wal-Marts across the country and when he’s done he takes a big steamy poop on the empty shell of a building encircling it with signs that read… “I shit on you Wal-Mart. I shit, and spit on you Wal-Mart” (read in a bad French accent). I hate it like that. But…we went anyway because I was confident it was the redneckiest store around that I was confident would have cap guns.
And he was all: “yeah….why? Should I tuck my shirt in?”
We get to the zoo and we’re waiting in line….a long line. He’s not saying a word, he’s just looking around. I finally said, “are you OK dude?”
And he said, “daddy, I’m nervous.”
“It’s cool if you wanna bail and just watch the race.”
“No way…I’m gonna win this thing!!!” he yelled.
The race track was about 1/3 of a mile around a huge fountain and they raced in groups – preschoolers, 1st and 2nd graders, etc… So he was all jacked up ready to bike in the 1st and 2nd graders boy division. Then - they called all the 1st and 2nd grader boys and girls to the line. That’s when we got a look at which kids were going to race against him. We both knew…he was gonna get his ass drug.
The girls did their race, then it was time for the boys. I said, “Gray…just have fun man. This is so cool – enjoy it! My best advice, stay close to the inside of the loop, look straight ahead, and just go.”
“These are some big boys daddy. I don’t think I can beat them.”
I slapped him on top of the helmet and said, “just ride hard and have fun, man.”
So 20+ 1st and 2nd graders line up and he’s looking kinda little. The gun went off and my dude stood up on his pedals and never looked back.
(Son is third from the right in the red Polo shirt)
(From the start he takes the lead)
From the beginning he led and never gave it up. I was going ballistic screaming like a little bitch and was probably being videoed and will soon be on Digg.com as the over-energetic asshole dad who’s kid didn’t get picked last at dodgeball…..but I didn’t care. I ran up to him, with his sister dragging behind, and said – “You won man!!!”
And he said, “I did?”
“Ahh yeah…there was no one in front of you the whole race!!!”
He was sooo freakin’ happy and I thought my chest would explode.
(My little dude crossing the finish line)
That was an amazing experience. I knew he was a strong biker and focused on the event. But I have to say I had doubt. I thought those kids were going to make a meal out of him. On his own…he just went balls to the wall and won.
As a kid I played soccer and I remember getting screamed at many a car ride home by my father because I wasn’t giving it my all. Because I wasn’t paying attention constantly and trying to become a pro athlete at it. Eventually he’d say he wasn’t going to waste his time watching me if I wasn’t going to try…and he came to fewer games.
My little shit did me proud. I feel bad I doubted him, but I just didn’t want to be pushing him too hard. And I’m glad I didn’t because for him and me, it just made his win that much sweeter.