"Congratulations on your child making it to the REGIONAL Track and Field Competition Finals! Please note that he/she can only attend if a parent transports and supervises their child for the time that they are there. He/she cannot attend otherwise."
In other words, "Great, after your kid did such a fantastic job representing the school by placing second at the AREA events, now that he excelled even more, being amongst only a handful of kids from hundreds to place that well, if you can't bring him to the next level of competition, you will kill his dreams and guess what, as a parent YOU SUCK!!"
The note arrived home in the backpack with much fanfare from the boy, only days before the regional event was scheduled to take place. And we only found out about the area competition the week before.
Guess who's overseas on business all week? Guess who is at home, but hosting a meeting with international visitors, which has been on the books for four months?
Yeah, we suck. And my boy was in tears. As was his Mom, her heart breaking inside.
A year ago she would have been able to be there, cheering him on.
Today, it sucketh.
Oh I know, I'm just as melodramatic as my kid. Arrangements are being made, because we want to make this happen for the boy. Even if we can't be there, we want him to be. It's his shining moment.
As a 10 year old starting to show signs of the apathetic teen years ahead, glimpses of the little kid in him these days are starting to be fewer and further between. When talking about the track events though, his face just lights up. His eyes shine with excitement as he tells us how well he did. He was up at 6 AM the day of the AREA meet - even though we couldn't make that event, he was still determined to do his best and make us proud. Not that he needs to do anything more than just be our son - we're pretty darned proud of him regardless, but he's driven. And disappointed that we won't be seeing him at the meet.
I keep telling him that this won't be the only time he'll make the finals. At the rate he's going he's likely going to qualify every year.
But it's not the same - this is the first time. And it will be the first time in a long, five years long time, that I haven't been there for a first.