The Boy wonder has a thing or two to learn about tradition.
Around this time of year he has a sports day at school. Every year I offer to run in the dads race. Every year he pulls a face veering between disinterest and horror and says no. Every year I turn up and cheer like a nutcase as he hops over hurdles or throws beanbags into buckets, rounding off the day by watching the other poor unfortunate buggers who's children don't know the tradition have to run in the parent's races.
This time however, when I asked the question 'would you like me to run in the dads race?' he said yes.
So on Wednesday, after spending the afternoon whooping and cheering whilst a bunch of enthusiastic kids threw sponge javelins at each other and did the shortest long jumps in the world, the fateful announcement came over the tannoy:
"Would all those competing in the parent's races, please make their way to the start line of the running track."
Now, under normal circumstances I'm a fairly easy going guy but I have to say that I have a competitive streak if there's a racetrack involved and this occasion was no different. As I stood on the startline I sized up the competition. There were seven of us in all, most of whom had at least a decade's worth of advantage on me. At that point I desperately wanted to win.
So the whistle went, I ran at a pace that my mind was entirely happy with, but which my legs were apparently less pleased about. I had a couple of close calls but managed to stay upright and staggered across the line in one piece.
Did I win? Of course not. I was beaten by an eighteen year old lad that was injured because his mate had shot him in the leg the day before with a BB gun and he'd decided to dig the projectile out with a knife* and a chap who'd actually brought trainers with him. But I managed to squeeze past the guy who told me on the start line he finished last in the previous day's race, a fat chap who fell over and a couple of others, so it wasn't all bad.
TBW was genuinely surprised that I hadn't won, he did his best to make me feel better but I reckon that lessons have been learnt and next year tradition will be restored.
* - He was the uncle of one the lads in TBW's class. I saw the wound and I have to say I believed his tale, I just hope the knife was sharper than he was.