It is around this time of year that I tend to get excited, competitive and become the parent to avoid in the playground.
It is Sports Day…
On previous years I have been known to hunt for my spikes, practise my sprints in the garden and have even purchased whistles to show my support.
But not this year.
This year I am dreading it, not for fears of my own fitness for the parents race, not for fear of seeing the kids reaction if they lose. I am filled with dread because Molly simply can’t take part.
I was flicking through some old photos last night, of the summer previous. Each image captures a happy moment. A tumble in the park, a race along the beach, a trip to a theme park, a day in the zoo.
In each of them my eight year old (then seven) stands tall, skipping from spot to space. Laughing as she throws cartwheels at will, giggling as she races with her siblings.
She used to fly rather walk, she used to smile when she did it.
Now she stumbles around, clumsily on two crutches, wincing with each terribly painful step.
Six months ago she could walk normally, like any other seven year old girl. At Easter she developed a persistent limp which by May half term had turned into a drag like John Wayne had shot her in the thigh.
And now she is in so much pain daily that she cries if she walks without her silver sticks.
It is obscene what is happening to my child. I am hating every living second.
Last year she won every race at Sports Day, this year she will be sitting on the rug next to me cheering on her brother.
It is simply not fair.