This past weekend me and Ilya (who just turned TEN--oh where has the time gone? And how did I move into the 35-40 bracket so quickly? And where did all these wrinkles come from?! Ahem.) participated in a parent-child obstacle race. They called it the Great Amazing Race, and it was supposed to be patterned after the "Amazing Race" show. Ilya was really excited, and I was excited for the chance to do something fun with just the two of us. We worked out our strategy on the way over: to have fun, not care about winning so much, and for Ilya to be in charge of figuring things out. Perfect.
We arrived at the park an hour before the race. The sky was heavy with dark clouds, and the unmoving air was thick with humidity. Kids and parents were crawling the place like ants, and as I gazed out onto the soccer fields that comprised the course, I couldn't help but think, "This is IT?" But I kept my opinions to myself for Ilya's sake. Until he said, "This is IT?" and then I felt free to add my opinion. It looked so...easy. Kinda boring actually. But I figured hey, this is for kids, right? They can't make it too hard.
Art and the other boys met us at the park after church, and Ilya and I waited for our wave to start. At last it was time to go. We sprinted to the first station, which required us to traverse a loop by getting into a tiny laundry basket, then putting a second in front, jumping into that, and then pulling the first one in front and repeating. Didn't seem like it would be that hard except they were so small. And people kept grabbing me to keep from falling over. But finally we got out and ran to the next one. We had to putt tennis balls into circles, I had to wrap Ilya in fabric like a mummy, we had to use tiny fishing poles to cast foam lures into a circle, touch all the baseball bases in order while blindfolded, and I had to carry Ilya and a soaking wet sponge back and forth between a cooler of water and dog bowl as we wrung the sponge out to fill the bowl.
I got very wet.
Ilya is heavy.
That "easy" course was harder than I thought it would be.
I am now very apprehensive about the Mud Run I'm doing in a few weeks. Ha.
Waiting to start. Also: this is the third year in a row I've worn that junky Earth Day shirt on or around Earth Day on accident. I only wore it cause they said we might get dirty and it's my yardwork shirt. I swear I'm not a hippie.
Ilya's favorite was the fishing pole part. I'm not gonna lie: I hated it. Tangled fishing lines are not my favorite thing ever.
Running to the finish.
Sashka and Mal want to finish, too.
Done! And I have no idea why I'm standing like that.
It would have been nice (ART) if the person with the camera/iPhone-cause-I-forgot-the-real-camera (ART) could have gotten some pictures of us actually doing the tasks, but apparently it was more interesting to take pictures of Xander and Mal entertaining themselves while waiting for us to be done.
The final verdict was that Ilya had fun and we made a memory. And even if the title "Great Amazing Race" had one or two inaccurate adjectives too many, it was still pretty great to get to do that with my great and amazing son.