My son has got to have nerves of steel. He can be the coolest kid under pressure you ever saw in your life. This last official season track stock car race was for all the marbles. There were four points between him and the number two guy. Four. Most races there were 30 points difference and the winners just went and raced for fun… My son’s race was nerve wracking. Especially when they line up all the cars in front of the stands and introduce them all and where they are in the standings, then make a HUGE thing about how there are only four points between them and they are the cars to watch and it’s for the track championship… blah blah blah. I wanted to strangle the announcer. No, let’s not add to the pressure… sheesh! I know it’s fun for the fans that way – give them someone to root for, but still…
I didn’t want to watch. I figured out when I watch, he’s never won. Ever. Besides the migraine I end up with from stressing the whole time I’m waiting for his turn and letting the old imagination go crazy. I’ve tried about every relaxation technique there is, but have decided the best thing is staying away. We were camping at the track, and Hubby was going to call me when it was over to let me know if I needed to come down for pictures. He called me earlier in the evening and informed me they would take pictures right after the race, so to be ready to shoot down to the track the minute they heard.
Well, I’m sitting in the RV, calm as can be, watching a movie, when it occurs to me that I probably should be closer as it is the equivalent of a couple of blocks to the track from the campground. I head out and walk toward the track, realizing as I near that I’m on the top of a hill and will be able to see the whole track. The whole race… Uh oh. Is this a good thing, or a bad thing? I stand next to the fence, behind some trees, where nobody can see me (except the mosquitos, of course). I see cars lined up being introduced… I call Hubby and tell him I’m watching and ask how long until his race. He says this is the race before sons’.
The race before his begins. I’m watching, but am trying not to watch too hard… then, I see it out of the corner of my eye… a wreck! The ambulance comes out… the tow trucks come out… people are running… someone says they thought they saw a BODY fly out of one of the cars (it ends up it was the wheel assembly flying out). I’m going through my ritual… it’s not him…it’s not him…
Everyone was okay. They cleaned up the debris and finished the race. I’m pacing back and forth on the road. My heart is in my throat. It’s only a race, damnit! It’s not life or death, it’s only a race! It’s becoming a mantra. I know how much he wants to win this…
They’re lining up. My son… my youngest… my little boy… okay, not so little anymore… The crowd goes wild when they say his name. He’s a track favorite. He races clean – that means a lot. That damn announcer. Putting the pressure on.
The introductions are done, the race is going to start…. and here comes the green…they’re off! The number two car jumps into the lead. Son drops back to third… I’m hanging on the fence, holding my breath. I start debating… do I close my eyes for a few laps, or do I need to run back up to the RV? What can I do to reverse this? Have I jinxed him? I’ll never forgive myself….
He drops back to fourth… I can’t watch.
It’s over. He came in fourth. The announcer is yapping, but I can’t hear him. The second place guy pulls into the winner’s circle for pictures. I’m talking to the ticket lady to see if I can get in now – she says ‘go ahead’ and I start across the track. My heart is breaking for my son, I know how much he was looking forward to this.
What? What is the announcer saying? He’s saying the winner has 480 track points… and my SON… has 481!!!!!!! He’s WON! He won track championship! WHOOOO HOOO!!! I practically stumble across the track in disbelief. I’ve been reprieved… I’m not the jinx!
The team next to us brought a keg, we had a trailer full of food… and I went back to the RV and got my bottle of champagne. A good time was had by all… I think I finally saw my bed about 3 a.m.