mara's cross country meet

I took the kids to watch my niece Mara's cross country meet. Mara is in 7th grade and in some awesome twist, had a meet at the golf course that is 20 minutes from my house, the very golf course I golfed at when I was on the Girls Golf team in high school.
It was so fun. I loved getting to see this part of Mara's life. Her friends were so awesome. They were so welcoming of me and my kids and made me feel like a mother and four young children with a double stroller fit right in. They were really, really nice girls. Which made me so glad for Mara. Kindness is such a needed quality in the world, and these girls felt kind to me.
 And they posed for all my pictures. Which was also very kind. :)
The location was gorgeous and the day was glorious. Here comes my little runner, who though her gold high heels would be appropriate footwear for the meet. I laughed when she got out of the car. And then I realized I didn't remember to grab Hattie's shoes. And laughed again. Doh.
Probably the best part was seeing how much Mara seemed to enjoy the whole thing. As a non-runner, I am in awe of anyone who runs for fun. Even my kids wondered many times on the way there why she and her team would just run and run. At one point during the non-stop questioning I told them that they actually let a bear out of a cage to chase the runners and that is why they run. Which they found horrifying. And then hilarious. But Mara doesn't need a bear to chase her. She looked like she was having a blast which is so fun to watch.
Here's the other thing that I continue to see as a grown-up that I wish I could have seen as a kid. No one cares who comes in last. No one. Everyone is there cheering for everyone. I suppose there are competitive coaches and pushy parents, but man, we were standing by grandparents and moms and dads and I just was glad for each kid out there, who was trying. And I wish I hadn't spent so much of my life tied up in what other people thought of me. No one is thinking anything about the last runner, or any runner actually, except the one they came to watch. All this to say, I loved watching every runner. The first to the last.
Mara got to hold Alden as her prize. I think he's thinking deeply here about how he still needs to learn how to sit up, roll over, crawl and walk before he can even imagine running. There is a lot ahead of that little boy. 

And below is Mara, holding her 7th place cowbell! She did amazing. Seriously, her strides were huge the whole way. Her legs are incredible and we all were very, very proud. We love you Mara!
Also. You are growing up so beautifully. I love you to pieces and cannot believe how fast time is flying by. Let's have another sleep over. Love, Aunt Bec

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