Matthew marched on the spot while he was waiting. He liked the swish his new tracksuit made every time he moved. He thought back to the joggers doing funny things with their legs and arms before they set out and tried to copy them, holding his foot up and folding his leg. He was hopping when Judy caught up to him,
“You lumbering up?”
“Is that what it’s called? I thought it was more like cooking than cutting down trees.”
“You’re thinking of ‘warming up’. It is another word I’m trying to remember. Not lumber.”
Judy chewed her lip for a moment then put her finger up into the air and grinned,
“It’s limber! Limbering up. That’s it! Anyways, you excited about today?”
Matthew tilted his head to one side,
“I don’t really like any sports. I think I’m quite good at running but I’m not sure.”
Judy passed him a drumstick and popped one in her mouth, talking out of the side of it,
“Running’s my favourite too. Let’s practise!”
Taking the sweet out of her mouth again she broke into a gallop. Matthew watched her.
“Come on slow coach!”
He sat down on the kerb. Judy came back and sat beside him,
Matthew picked up a stone and started to scrape it across the road,
“You know why I don’t like sports’ day?”
“All the other mums and dads stand to cheer on their children. Mine has to sit and if she doesn’t get a space at the front I can’t see her.”
He smiled to himself,
“I can always hear her though. She whoops and whistles louder than anyone else!”
Judy patted him on the back,
“If it makes you feel any better, my mum is stuck at work so she won’t be there.”
She stood up and offered him a hand up,
“Let’s go and run our legs off!”
Even before the whistle blew Matthew could hear his name. Two people were cheering him on this year – mum and Judy. He ran better than he’d ever done before and came in second. When he stood up on the make-shift platform he searched for his mum.
She was there, standing up and cheering, her hand leaning on Judy’s shoulder.