Misunderstood, Pt. 5

by twofiftyorless

It is a track program, for four-year-olds.  Every Sunday, the participants go to the high school track and “learn” how to long jump and leap over hurdles. No surprise, there is some running involved too.

The program is designed to increase a child’s interest in track to eventually feed one of the country’s elite cross country teams every fall and one of the state’s best track teams every spring. AJ does not attend the same school district, but has common friends who participate, so my wife signed him up. It was my responsibility to take him last weekend.

I stuck out like a sore thumb. I stood by myself, away from “the action” and let AJ explore what it is like to be part of a group of children, receiving instruction from a high school track athlete, padding their resume with volunteer work to impress an admissions officer at the university of their dreams. He is going to be in kindergarten in less than 3 months and I understand that it important for him to build his self-esteem without the omnipresence of his father and to learn how to follow directions as part of a group of children.

Meanwhile, the parents of the other children would not leave the side of their prodigies. Holding their hands between activities and running along side them cheering at every event, I found their over-attention nauseating, but they were even less impressed with me:

“It’s a shame he’s not more involved.”