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Racing with Henry

Minutes later we were both at the finish, and I was on a bubbly, chitchatty high, something that even I was a bit surprised by. I’d finished 29th out of 36 starters, about two minutes behind my son. He now knew that his dad was a lot like him–only slower. I’d failed to be his true racing partner, but in the panting high of the finish line I didn’t feel unworthy, or that I might not one fine day be the sidekick he was looking for.

A few minutes later, we got into the car and cranked the heat. We’d been in a race almost halfway across the state, and it wasn’t even 9:30 yet. As we pulled out of the parking lot, Henry looked my way and said, “Thanks, Dad–but what do you say we do all the races next year?” I said, “Yeah, that’d be great.” What I didn’t say was that if he wanted to learn Flemish and bunny-hop a soccer bench, I was okay with that, too.

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