I have the most wonderful memories of my elementary school Field Days growing up. Those days were the ones I looked forward to all year. Spending the school day outside in the warm sun sprinting through the grass was sheer delight for me. I loved the competition and the ribbons we won, and those memories propelled me to later join track and set school relay team records which were broken by my sister's team 8 years later.
Thirty some years later, Field Day isn't so much about winning ribbons or competition or even running anymore. Those things have been replaced by games with flags and hula hoops and silly bouncy horses. Only the school day outside in the warm sun remains, but as I watched Brayden, my kindergartener, in his first Field Day, I wasn't thinking about setting my son up for success as a high school track star or athlete.
What I was thinking about was that we were both there! And, believe me that is no small miracle considering what the last year has been like. Many know that Brayden has struggled with his health from early in his life and has missed at least 40 days of school this year (I lost count after about the 25th day). I have kept my own health issues less visible, but I have battled joint pain (newly diagnosed as early Rheumatoid Arthritis) the last few years which takes me out for days at a time. This pain in combination with my ongoing endometriosis and seasonal depression keeps me from being able to participate in life as much as I wish I could.
And, as I shared with my neighbor and friend last night who is at her last day of work today, it is so awesome not be working and to be able to be a helper at Field Day and other school events. My very part-time job as a nurse came to a disappointing end a couple months ago, and as much as I have had trouble thinking positively about the way it ended, I felt nothing but gratitude yesterday for the extra time I have to be a part of my children's lives now that I'm not working.
And, while it may be a bit presumptuous, as I was filling the kindergarten class water bottles and taking about a hundred pictures yesterday, I may just have been the happiest mom there.