State Track and Advice from Strangers

Yesterday was the Nebraska State track meet. When I was a little girl, my dad was a high school track coach and I always looked forward to State track weekend. When I was too young to go, Dad would always come home from the weekend with a new t-shirt for me and my sister. As we got older he’d let us come along, which always meant a weekend of hotels, hot-dogs and hanging out with the super-cool high school kids (they seemed so old then!).

When I was actually in high school, I had a couple of severe knee injuries that prevented me from ever getting to compete in the meet I had always loved, but I still went every year with my best friend who was competing, and I still got those t-shirts.

Now that I’m a “grown up” its amazing to me that I’m still visiting the meet every year, only now its my husband that’s the coach. And now I’m bringing my own daughter along.

Yesterday was a perfect day for the meet. The weather was beautiful, 70s and breezy. Brett’s team did amazing and ended up winning the meet and setting several new State records along the way.







I was excited to bring Vera along and we were both dressed in our school spirit gear. Hers was a homemade onesie from my baby shower and all the kids and coaches thought it was adorable.

I love how in this picture you can tell who is the track coach and who spends her time indoors behind a computer screen all day. :|

Speaking of being pale… I was really surprised and kind of shocked by how many women gave me disapproving looks and unsolicited opinions when they saw me carrying Vera around the meet yesterday. This was my first real experience with strangers offering me parenting advice and I felt very judged. I realize that maybe a track meet isn’t a normal place to bring an infant, but I don’t think that doing so makes me a bad mom or deserves that disapproving look. Um, yes, she’s wearing sunscreen.

While most people smiled, made “future track star” comments and cooed over V, I had a few women who gave me shocked looks and said things like “I hope that baby is wearing sunscreen!” and “Oh my goodness, how long has she been out here?” When I replied that we had only been there for about 20min, that particular woman responded by telling me that was too long.

For the most part I ignored the few negative comments and looks that I did get. I know that V loves to be outside, that I kept her slathered in 50 SPF sunscreen, that we limited her time in the direct sun and were only there for a little while. I know that it was in the 70s, not the 90s. I know that she was happy and had a great day. So why does it bother me that those women looked at me like I was abusing her by not locking her indoors all summer long? I guess I have to let it roll off and trust that Brett and I know whats best for her, and for us that is time spent outdoors as a family. Even if it is sunny out! Sheesh.

Anyway, Vera and I spent an hour or so there in the morning and then came back at the end of the day to get some photos of daddy with his State champs. The end of the day is my favorite part, when everyone is clearing out. It’s like all the excitement of the day just disappears in a matter of minutes and all that’s left over is the empty bleachers and the trash. Sad in a way, but it tells such a story.

And then they present the trophies on the field and the winning teams gather for a few last photos before everyone leaves and the season is officially over. Before we left for the day though we had to get at least one picture of V making her State track debut. Hey, it’s never too early to start practicing!


  • Michelle

    Get her a cute sun hat to help when you’re outside for longer periods of time and tell the ladies to mind their own damn business. ;-)

    Looks like you had a great day!

    • Dawn

      haha, Thanks Michelle! I’ll have to look for the perfect sun hat for this summer. Wish I would have had it that day!

      • Michelle

        I love the swim hats at Target. They are cute, have floppy soft brims and they can go in the water too.

        • Dawn

          I’ll look for those. Thanks for the tip!


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