“I’m proud of you for doing your best,” Noah said as grabbed my hand to hold as we walked past the bocce courts on the way to our car. We had stayed late, waiting until the end of the team bocce tournament before taking our tired children home.

After two years without the festival, I had forgotten the sublime pleasure of standing in a crowd around a reconfigured baseball diamond, waiting to see how close the rollers can get the balls to the pallino. A band played on the main stage, and Louise and Anna danced while Noah diligently watched the judges’ decisions. I stood next to my friends while our team rolled their way into second place, our best finish in years. The only injury was Mimi, when a ball jumped the board and hit her ankle.

The kids were tired, but it was worth every minute of their slow steps to be with our people under a cloudless sky. As we made the slow journey to the car, Noah asked how we had done in the cocktail and Anything Italian contests. I told him we wouldn’t know until Saturday night.

That’s when he told me he was proud of me, which is what I often say to him. I’m glad it appears to be sinking in.

Published by Caroline Mitchell Carrico

I am a writer, mom, and museum enthusiast in Memphis. Also a fan of reading all the words, cooking all the vegetables, and watching all my kids' soccer games.

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