parents are embarrassing.
Even when not trying.
Like swimming parents, track parents must camp out for days waiting for the seconds Junior will either sprint, lope or lumber by. Spouse and I have become experts in the years that the Offspring have been developing in to future Olympians both in terms of equipment and documentation of the event. Moving to Japan altered our equipment, and in so doing reinforced the unfortunate fact that a child can’t alter the genetic line from whence produced.
Exhibit A: Bad Weather Forces Mom and Dad to Camp Out
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these parents from comfort while their Offspring suffer the elements at track meets” Clampitt Creed.
This ingenious Japan Costco set up, including the chairs with umbrellas, kept us out of the elements but not impervious to the “boy” noises from the all male track team next door. Some things don’t require translation. When the Offspring did venture over to the tent for necessary items, we were addressed as “Mr and Mrs Noddin,” in an attempt at masking our identity.
We were the lone parents in attendance able to unleash the imagination required to envision such a haven from the disastrous duo of wind and rain. Other than those who had to sell hot dogs for shelter.
Exhibit B- Your Mother Speaks English while the Video Camera Speaks Japanese-
It’s the red button on the new Japanese speaking video camera which means “record” not the green. Because the Japanese appreciate quiet, there is no bell indicating the button registered the warm touch of a finger requesting action. Now, instead of enjoying the jubilation and triumphant celebration following Offspring #2’s 4×400 m win with her team as they crossed the finish line in to the League Championship’s history books, we have a riveting video recording of our conversation from the time I switched it “off” and it began a 30 minute journey in the back pack. Our titillating conversation muffled by the purple towel somewhat illuminated by the not quite zipped side, until the battery ultimately ran down as Andretti-san ordered food at the MacDonald’s drive through. The Clampitts sat glued to the tv watching the captivating drama unfold, hoping that somehow, the track meet would miraculously peep through. Alas, it only lives in our memories.
I now feast on crow at the table where I formerly beat my chest while waving a turkey leg in the air proclaiming loudly and with much gusto:
“How hard can it be to figure out a Japanese speaking video camera? Just hit “Record” and “Stop.” Ouiser-san May, 2011.
Exhibit C: Dad Wants a Good Shot of “Insert Kid” Crossing the Finish Line
Which he did. Several times. The finish line camera also got several good shots of him. Here’s a shot of Spouse in the coach’s email to the team and parents advising everyone to stay away from the finish line camera:
I hesitate to document the above tale lest my Offspring read this- however, very rarely do they show interest in this blog, so several years may pass before the above humor in these situations is evident. Alternatively, I’m still not over the “Blind date” Thin Lips (my mother) set up- without my permission- with a gentlemen newly arrived from Kansas who preached the Book of Mark all night. Still not funny after 30 years.