Field Day in March

Field Day for my kids means magicians, bouncy houses, popsicles. Field Day for me means races, and I was more than a little let down when I finally had kids in elementary school and saw what Field Day had become.

Little did I know that all I had to do was move to Portugal. There's plenty of races here. The elementary school held theirs the week before Easter Break and it was actually called The Race of Easter (translated). For a second we thought maybe it was a giant egg hunt, but thank goodness, no.

There are three or four elementary schools in our city and all the 1-4 graders were pitted against each other according to grade. And they went all out with the huge blowup start/finish line, a DJ pumping hits (I assume), a starting horn, water bottles and snacks at the finish line, and an awards ceremony.

Penelope, Archie and Linus did lots of sprints in the house in the days before to "get ready" for the race. And it's always amusing to me to hear the things they (and Woo) say to reveal their dreams or fears for the race.

We'd learned from Ruby's race to tell everyone to get on the front line, which they did. But before the race, someone told all the first graders to not go too fast and trip other people. Penelope took that to heart. She ran a strong, but not too fast pace the whole race. Here she is taking the time to wave.

I told her to pass the person in front of her, which she did in about five very fast steps before returning to her slower pace to take second.

Linus thought he might win, but wasn't sure. He led almost the entire race, and was passed at the very end by this kid from another school, who Linus later told us should be in the grade above, but didn't pass last year. I don't know if that's true, but he's big enough. Linus made friends with him anyway, and they were giving each other high fives as they left.

Moses knew he was way faster than any kids in his school, but was worried about kids in other schools, especially kids who might've been held back. He was in the first pack of boys, that was way ahead of anyone else. Moses tried a couple times to pass the boy ahead of him, but that boy was too competitive and Moses was too willing to let him have his way and backed down. He got fourth and spent the rest of the day feeling kind of down that he was "the only one in the family who didn't get a place."

Ruby came home from school announcing she "counts as a boy in P.E." The P.E. classes here are both boys and girls and when teams are chosen, there's a rule to pick a girl, then a boy, etc. Anyway, because Ruby is better than most of the boys at most of the sports, she has to be chosen during a boy turn. She felt pretty good this week when they played soccer and she was the most coveted player of all three teams.

Herbie, Archie and I kept up our afternoon running on the dunes. Some days were really windy and it was painful to be caught in the middle of so much sand, but mostly we had fun. At least, I thought we did, but Archie and Herbie started complaining to do something else. Our decision was made for us Friday when we were coming down the stairs and some guy honked, then yelled out his window.
"It's no good, run on the dunes! Damage the dunes!"
And he sped away. I was a little weirded out to think this man I'd never seen knew who we were and what we'd been doing: English speakers running dunes. (Stupid Americans stand out no matter where we go??) But I guess he has a point. We've moved on.

Archie as the Man in Black:

His elf tucked in bed that he snuck to school.

Also, Archie's flipflop shin guards:

Skateboarding in the garage: A popular Daddy Day activity these days.

The waves were crazy big and rough most of the week (except one day when Woo took Linus and Herbie out). Woo's friend suggested surfing in a new spot. Within an hour, Woo had bashed his knee on a rock and his friend had broken his board. Woo could hardly walk for a day, and when his friend suggested they go to the same place the next day (presumably to redeem it?), Woo was happy to have the kids' races as an excuse to back out. Luckily, his knee feels a lot better now.

Anyway, that's enough for this week. Hope your week was great! I'm excited for Conference on Saturday!