I have never run many races in my life so far, whether rat or otherwise. So I do not have any ‘record-breaking’ memories to choose from when I think of a finish line. What comes to mind, though, is a ‘Rabbit Race’ we kids ran, back when we were in grade three, and the world was a rainbow. Apparently, I was on the other (more rainy) side of the mountain…whatever.
Anyway, our teacher, a wonderfully sweet lady with a beautiful singing voice gave us our instructions to run the race (but not in the form of a song). She should have sung it, maybe then everyone would have listened….I digress.
Anyway, during rehearsals (yeah, we used to have dry runs, many, in fact), the teacher said that little containers of mango juice (my favorite kind) would be placed on chairs at the start line and each one of us (dressed as rabbits – rabbit ears made from pink chart paper, socks on our palms for paws, and socks on our feet for, well, rabbit feet..duh), had to drink up all, she said All… the juice as fast as we can, and run (no, hop) to the finish line. Sure, that’s easy, right?
Anyway, (Gosh, I sound like Ellen Degeneres), the big day arrived, and we lined up for the race, every little girl with paper ears, sock paws and hopping rabbit feet. Our teacher blew the whistle and everyone hopped to the juice containers, picked them up, started sipping (so far so good), and…dropped the containers and ran….Hey wait! You guys are supposed to Finish the drink, and then run. I was following instructions and the others were finishing the race… where do I come from, anyway, gaaawd! No prizes for guessing what position I finished in at that race. My mom still has a picture of me at that race – lopsided rabbit rabbit ears covering half an eye, drink in hand, and a “What The…” expression on my face!
I look at the winners of that race now, and I wonder if they still have the head start – cool jobs, cooler hairdos, parties, pets, apartments and travel photos – while I try to not to burn breakfast, then force-feed it to my daughter Debbie, and get to work on time.
And then I turn around and look at her toothy grin and the love in her eyes, and I think, well, Mama Rabbit’s going to sip this one in, moment by moment, before the next race catches up… We got time to sip the juices, smell the roses …. The finish line can wait.