The swimming carnival yesterday is a perfect example of why Roly (RollerCoaster ) earns his name. Last week he came home absolutely bursting about needing to be in the raft race, and talking frenziedly about the team he was putting together. He was on cloud nine,coming up with plans to build his raft. I, on the other hand was a quietly skeptical. This time last year the same thing happened. Then on the day, when it came time for the race, his supposed team had no idea he was wanting to race with them ( except for the poor kid who'd tried to smuggle him onto the team!) and they refused pointblank to have him. It all ended in tears and rejection. So that is my baggage! But now he was so excited, rearing to go, so I went along with it, and for two days we discussed plans etc. Then..... nothing. For a whole week nothing. I said NOTHING, thinking 'it's probably for the better he's left the idea'. Fast Forward to this Tuesday, 9:30 pm. I was soo tired and hobbled off early to bed, passing Bodie as he fetched a drink. As he went by, he said. " I can't wait till tomorrow, Mum. What if we win?!?"
THUNK. That was my stomach plummeting. "What? Win what?" I asked in desperate innocence. "The raft race of course." "But you haven't got your stuff together. You haven't planned. We've got the blow up mattress, but you need oars. stuff to tie it all together." ( and a bunch of kids alongside you, I was thinking. A good raft, competant sailors.) "All under control, Mom. The other guys are taking care of the rest." ( guys? Last I'd heard there was only two other boys.)
Boy, did I start praying. For a storm so the carnival would be cancelled, for a team of really bad swimmers team to sign up. I did not want my poor Roly to be ridiculed, or for his heart to be broken.
Yesterday morning, off he went to school floating on air, tasting victory already. Could it get worse? Yes, dear reader it could. I get a phone call at lunch. It's Roly. "What's wrong?" "Nothing mum, I just need you to bring my swimsuit to school early, cause I'm going ahead on the bus . I've signed up for backstroke and breastroke heats in the Zone tryouts." he said with bubbles of joy in his voice. (Zone is the interstate comp, where the best athletes from the different States compete at high levels. Roly can swim, but he is not at that level) "Sure."( By now my stomach is lodged somwehere in my bowel region)
By the time we got to the carnival his races for Zone were over. "How did you go, " I ask in a casual manner. "Oh, last." he says dismissively. Then he brightens. "Well not technically. Technically they ended up stopping the timer on me so I didn't come anything." he says in my ear. How devestated he must be. I look for signs of depression. Meltdown. But Roly looks excited. I realize he is surrounded by a group of boys. "Where's the mattress?' Did you bring it,?" They ask me?" ( all these boys must be his team! My bowel gasps in relief as my stomach lifts a little)
They run around for the next hour getting the raft ready. It is finally time for the race. The whistle blows, and they are off, the IQs are adrift ( though they don't know what their team name actually means) They work hard, and plunge their noodle oars through the water. It's a close race. It is all over. The IQs have come second place! No one fell off, Roly wasn't on his own, not banished by his team. Roly has such great self belief, and of course he knew that his family believed in him as well (SSHH, not a word, OK?) I love that boy!