Today, right now, actually, kids and youngsters around the country are waking up to their dads pre-checking their bikes. The first kicks to turn the engines over with a decided roar or, well, whatever you want to call the screaming yawn that is the the souped up 50 class steads.
There’s a waft of fuel, with the steam of those first pours of camp coffee filling the nostrils of the parents. They’re awake now, if they even slept at all. Some of you probably shouldn’t be here. Don’t get me wrong. You’ve paid your dues, Lord knows. Your kids, still nestled in the camper covers, have visions of checked flags dancing in their heads, too. They’ve certainly had to put in their own time.
But this has been a weird year. For the seasoned vets of LL qualifying, it’s different. The training schedules changed and life was flipped upside down. For those that might have their first shot, it’s different. The combination of Area and Regional means more entries, more pressure. And then there’s some of us that really, we know our kids aren’t gonna make it. They probably wouldn’t have made it out of an Area. But we’re here. The chances might be one in a million, but there’s a chance.
No matter what the expectations are for today, this weekend, and beyond - we’re ready to go right now.
Mommas, you especially. Today’s the first day of this set and one of a million before and a million after where you wait with bated breath. If your littles are really actually little, they might not yet know what it took to be here today. Part of me hopes they understand - yet another hopes they go a long time before they see the sacrifices your family made to get them here. The arguments with Moto Dad - Are we really doing the right thing?, the finagling of schedules to find track time, the way Moto Sister had to skip some activities to make sure the funds could cover the summer. Moto Moms, I feel that stuff in my soul. I know you do, too.
Now before you can even get to The Ranch you’ve traipsed across the country. In a time where you wear a mask into a truck stop to grab the next silver can of stay awake juice - it gives you wings, after all, and you need those and prayer - you’ve counted the coin and know exactly what it will take if things go well, which the seldom do. Your kid, if they know what’s in store knows what it will take, as well. Their form of payment is marked in kahunas versus moolas but they know the price this weekend stamps on their heads, too.
Dads, as you pack the gate today, look down those long stretches of ruts and sand, stare out into those big sweeping left hands of Ponca or Baja and remember the FIRST TIME your Little Racer Dude or Dudette swung a leg over a bike. They might have been so small you had to put them on it. Some of the fearless, fast, few will go home with Ranch Tickets as long as they are tall and they won’t yet be able to see into the trophy stand to tell the awards lady their names. Remember when, on that first day, your Little Racer looked at you with big eyes and dark lashes and asked “Daddy this is MINE?” Mommas, you can remember that very first postulation, “Lord watch over them.” How many times have you said that? Maybe to the universe or The Man Upstairs, you’ve talked and pleaded to whoever is listening.
This weekend you’ll add in, “Please let them in.”