06 February, 2017

A dangerous question

We caught a glimpse of this beautiful sunset on our way home. This is the
playground and oval of the school. ("Oval" is Aussie for playing field).
I'm at the point of feeling like I overwhelm everyone around me if I actually try to answer the ubiquitous question: "How are you?" I open my mouth longer than five seconds and wrestling tumbles out (and it's not the first time, this has happened every year for four of the last five years, see here). If I manage to dodge that or get past it I'm stuck on the challenges of my son's and parenting then. Argghhh.

So sorry to anyone who's been bombarded by my current limited conversation. And for those who haven't, beware of asking me how I am because I struggle to just answer "Fine".

So, seeing as I'm not in a conversation and you can click away from this at any time, I'm feeling free to say here how I am.

I'm obviously caught up in wrestling. It consumes our family conversation and thoughts.
A sample of the many texts that went back and forth on Saturday.

Saturday was another big day. David with our two older boys left at 5.30am for the high school meet south of Yokohama, along with two other wrestlers who slept at our house. I took our youngest son on the train to support the middle school team (he sustained a hand injury last Saturday so couldn't wrestle) at a Catholic boy's school about an hour from here. 9am-3pm was spent in a loud, echoing gym. I cheered, videoed, directed (you were called up weren't you? Go and support your team mate...), and chatted.

Interspersed in all that was multiple texts. Our middle son was the only CAJ supporter at the high school meet. He kept me up-to-date on results, one bout at a time. And I passed the information on to those parents I have connection with. Which equalled lots of texting.

We got home from the middle school meet at 5pm, close to when our eldest son was wrestling in the final. I knew it would be a tough battle because he was up against someone from the host school. It's the same guy he's wrestled many times in the last two seasons, and they almost always are tough bouts. But I knew this guy would really want to win in front of his home crowd. Instead of being able to watch it I had to sit at my dining room table and wait for a text. It was hard, but once I found out that the final score was 14-10 to our son, I was almost glad I knew the result before watching the match. I may have needed oxygen afterwards if I'd actually been there!

However our son remains undefeated this season after 21 bouts and I feel like we're living a dream. But at the same time I feel a twinge of embarrassment. Success like this for my boys is something I've dreamed about and hoped for but not really expected will happen. So how do I deal with it actually happening? I'm absurdly proud of what he's achieved, but at the same time aware that many others who long for this don't get it. What do I do with all that? How do I cope with the pride welling up in me without bursting or overwhelming others with it? How do I keep a perspective that includes those who aren't experiencing this success?

There is now only one more meet on Japanese soil (this Saturday). Then next Wednesday the team (including David, as assistant coach) leaves for their three-day meet in Korea. I also leave to travel to the meet with three other parents, but we travel separately to the team.

Our younger two sons will stay with another CAJ staff family. That is a considerable disruption in the nice routines of life, which one of them, particularly, is struggling with.

So you can imagine how it is hard to focus on anything else. Of course, in the middle of this we have got work to do, and especially our year twelve student has tonnes of homework. But it's hard to concentrate...and to have conversations not related to what currently consumes my family.

But I must struggle on with a semblance of normal life.

I've got a magazine in the depths of editing, which means keeping tabs on a bunch of things and people. Lots of spinning plates in the air. Tomorrow I've also scheduled a coffee time with a new colleague. Hopefully I'll be able to exercise self control and talk about other things. Probably asking lots of questions will be a good strategy!

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