There was a 5K fundraiser near our house on Saturday and when I saw that they had a 1K kids’ run I decided to sign us up as a family. I wasn’t sure how Riley would do, since he’s prone to going boneless two blocks into our neighborhood walks and announcing how TIRED he is, are we THERE yet, his LEGS are SO TIRED, etc, but I figured if nothing else we could walk the route together.

He was super excited about it ahead of time and was enthusiastic for the first half of the run but I could tell when it started to feel less fun and more tiring. He got a sort of grim expression and by the last stretch he was breathing hard and looking more than a little miserable, but he never stopped and walked. I ran with him, shouting encouragement, and there were a ton of young volunteers—bless their hearts—standing on the sidelines cheering and telling the kids they were doing great. My boy crossed that finish line panting and gasping, slugged a plastic bottle of water, then uttered the same words I’ve thought a thousand times after a race: “Hey, where’s my medal?”

Seriously, I was so proud of him. I was proud that he kept going even when it became hard work, I was happy that we could do something like that together.

Later, he used sidewalk chalk to draw arrows like they had on the 1K route on our driveway, and he and Dylan play-raced for most of the afternoon. I thought that was pretty cool too.

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I sometimes get into this foolish mode of wishing the kids were older (because things would be more accessible/easier) or missing their younger stages (because things were sweeter/simpler). I forget it’s not about where we’re going or where we’ve been, it’s about right now. Nothing is more important than right now. Parenthood is this amazing rolling horizon, we move across a landscape and things are always receding because that’s what happens when you move forward. And that’s okay. There are always new things coming into view.

This weekend my boy and I ran together. Maybe running will become a positive, shared part of our lives. Maybe we’ll never do it again. Right now, it doesn’t matter.

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Comments

37 Responses to “Running to here”

  1. Amy M. on June 28th, 2010 1:30 pm

    Go Riley! Actually, that’s how I run – starting enthusiastically, but ending winded & miserable-looking. :) It’s great to be able to share your love of running with him!

  2. JennB on June 28th, 2010 1:31 pm

    Awesome. We have a 10K and a kids fun-run here in my town, you guys should come to Vermont in September, we’ll go apple picking, you can run and the kids can play at the games, and it will all be good. I think our kids would do fabulously together. Come to Vermont. It’s nice. We’re nice. :) You would love it! And you can stay with us. Consider it a vacation of sorts.

  3. Fiona on June 28th, 2010 1:36 pm

    Hurrah for that boy! I’ve just started running Saturday morning 5Ks (http://www.parkrun.org.uk/edinburgh/Home.aspx ) with my son, who’s 12. Or rather, the gun goes off and he leaves me in the dust. But hey, I can whack his bum at cycling and it’s great to see what a kick he gets out of exercising in the fresh air rather than glued to a computer screen. Can relate to the “time go faster, GO SLOWER!” feeling too. Well done Riley!

  4. Pete on June 28th, 2010 1:39 pm

    That’s one of the keys, enjoy the now.

  5. Melissa on June 28th, 2010 1:42 pm

    So very cool.

    It’s so hard to remember to live in today. Thanks for the reminder. =)

  6. Amy on June 28th, 2010 1:49 pm

    Perfection! And good for him! Go Riley!! And thanks for the reminder….i try to live for now but sometimes get caught up in the crap.

    By the way….has Dylan grown like 6 inches! He’s not a baby anymore…I think you’ll be running with him before too long.

  7. Donna on June 28th, 2010 1:52 pm

    Love that he ran all the way, and then played all afternoon too, and Dylan is huge, when did that happen, and also love the double distlefink on your shirt sleeves!
    And did I say sidewalk chalk is oh so very cool?

  8. Amy on June 28th, 2010 1:53 pm

    Awesome! I love to run with my two girls (3 and 5) – I think there is something naturally joyful about running when you are young. Not always a “joyful” experience to me, now, but I do love it (mostly the post-running feeling!)

    And I so hear you on the simultaneous nostalgia for the past and wishing/planning for the future. I have to tell myself the mantra we used when we were young — “Savor!” It really is the right now that is everything.

  9. Christina on June 28th, 2010 1:58 pm

    Last year, my now five year old ran in a 1 mile run like this and he was thrilled to do it. I love that I am passing along the thrill of running/exercise not just to my son but my 22 month old daughter who talks a lot about “nunning” and pumps her chubby little toddler arms to show that she is running.

    I love that the kids race each other and get down in a runner stance to start (a la track runners)and go as fast as their wee legs will carry them from point a to point b and some times back again, yelling ‘what’s my time?!’ I see the wonder and excitement that they see in fitness, even though they just think it is fun right now!

    I am glad my kids are getting that from us and even if they are never runners or athletes, I love that they enjoy it today because they know Mommy enjoys it.

    That is amazing! Good job on giving such a lovely thing to your kids as well :)

  10. Anonymous on June 28th, 2010 2:09 pm

    So cute! Such a strong family resemblance in that last picture.

  11. Mama Bub on June 28th, 2010 2:11 pm

    “I forget it’s not about where we’re going or where we’ve been, it’s about right now.” I must commit this to memory when I’m so busy wishing it all away.

  12. Eric's Mommy on June 28th, 2010 2:16 pm

    “I forget it’s not about where we’re going or where we’ve been, it’s about right now. Nothing is more important than right now.”

    You said it.

  13. Mama Ritchie on June 28th, 2010 2:25 pm

    You guys are beautiful. Just beautiful. Thank you again for sharing.

  14. Amy on June 28th, 2010 2:31 pm

    Love your writing as always…you had me at…”going boneless”

  15. Erika on June 28th, 2010 2:46 pm

    I ran a 5k in March with my family. My 15 year old Trey and I were supposed to run and Ken (husband) was going to walk with Anna age 6 and Jacob age 5. When the gun went off, Anna and Jacob took off running. Ken chose to stay with Anna because he thought she would tire first and then he would be able to walk. I had Jacob. Ken ended up running the entire way because Anna DID NOT STOP! :) He isn’t a runner. He thinks one should run if being chased. HA! I ended up carrying Jacob for two miles because he SIMPLY COULD NOT GO ON! I got a good workout that morning. Anna was pissed that she had to wait until everyone else finished to get her medal. :)

  16. Shana on June 28th, 2010 2:50 pm

    Best blog post ever!

  17. H on June 28th, 2010 3:15 pm

    You’re right because the thing is, it never gets easier, the challenges just change. If you wait to enjoy the easy and fun years, your children will be grown and gone before you realize you missed out on the fun altogether.

  18. Maria on June 28th, 2010 6:10 pm

    Oooo boy this made me cry. You guys look adorable.

  19. Lesley on June 28th, 2010 9:30 pm

    You’re such an awesome parent to those boys.

    I know you have your ups and downs as all moms do, but your perspective, your way of thinking about things – the way you let your boys be who they are – is worth it’s weight in gold. Nothing beats that.

  20. Robin on June 29th, 2010 2:16 am

    ‘it’s not about where we’re going or where we’ve been, it’s about right now. Nothing is more important than right now. Parenthood is this amazing rolling horizon, we move across a landscape and things are always receding because that’s what happens when you move forward. And that’s okay. There are always new things coming into view.’

    Great way to put it. This is something I need to remind myself of daily. Thanks!

  21. M. Bailey on June 29th, 2010 4:12 am

    Your sentiment about parenting in the ‘now’ brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for the reminder.

  22. Tia on June 29th, 2010 5:31 am

    I need to enjoy the “now” more often. Thank you for saying it :)

    And way to go Riley!! I think after their afternoon of play racing Dylan might be ready for his 1k!

  23. warcrygirl on June 29th, 2010 5:47 am

    This is too awesome for words. Did you get Riley a “medal”?

  24. Sara on June 29th, 2010 6:11 am

    Good job Riley!

  25. lisa-marie on June 29th, 2010 8:01 am

    That is awesome! Go, Riley!

  26. telegirl on June 29th, 2010 8:56 am

    You always have such a great way of putting things. Thanks for reminding me to live in the “now” with our little ones.

  27. adequatemom on June 29th, 2010 9:12 am

    Sundry, that is SO DAMN COOL! There’s nothing more awesome than sharing the things you are passionate about with your kids. And thanks for the valuable lesson about staying in the now.

  28. Lisa on June 29th, 2010 10:16 am

    I constantly battle the “wishing they were older” part right now…a 3 year old and a 1 year old are freaking HARD. But I also know that I will miss these years and I need to shut up and enjoy it, it goes by so fast…

    Also, where did you get your shirt – the black, red, grey one?? It is so awesome and I need it! Please do tell! Thanks!

  29. Simon on June 29th, 2010 5:53 pm

    This had me grinning like a fool. What a great moment. I love to think about how I enjoy moments like this, and how my parents had moments like this with me, and it really closes a sort of loop.

  30. SJ on June 30th, 2010 8:04 am

    One word came to mind when I read this – AWESOME.

  31. Carrie on June 30th, 2010 5:43 pm

    I think this is my favorite of all of your blog posts, and I’ve been reading for quite some time. Thank you, Linda!

  32. Melissa on June 30th, 2010 6:00 pm

    Awesome job, Riley!

    I love this post. I really need to start focusing on the “now,” as well.

  33. Guinness74 on July 1st, 2010 5:58 am

    I’ve been reading for a while now and I really enjoy your blog because I’m a new parent (14 months on Sunday) and I’m a runner (in a slow sense of the word) and I went back to school as a “non-traditional” student (and I got my degree and have recently enrolled in graduate school)…but enough about me.

    You’re spot on with the parenting horizon thing. There have been moments when I thought, oh, if only she was older/could walk/ate this or that, then life would be simpler. And then, I catch myself thinking about how I can’t cuddle her on my chest anymore, and how she’s starting to walk now and I won’t be able to just set her down and watch TV anymore. It’s all very selfish, until you realize that everything you do is tied to what they do and vice versa.

    This week, we were in Baltimore, while my wife was at a conference, and so there was a lot of daddy/daughter time…and I passed, maybe even got a B+. Either that, or I wasn’t tested at all and she was just golden the entire time. But, I understand now, in hindsight, that it’s about the “now” and we should do our best to keep that in mind.

    Best of luck with everything and keep writing because there are people just like you out there who need the insight and reminders.

  34. Eliza on July 2nd, 2010 7:21 am

    This warms my cold black heart.

  35. Zephyr on July 2nd, 2010 10:05 am

    We have a race like this in Santa Barbara where they have different divisions based on age (from 6 yrs old to 99+), one for families and one for people with their pets. It’s an awesome sight!

  36. Tiffany *OH - IO* on July 2nd, 2010 5:44 pm

    In 10 days I will have surgery to fix a herniated disc that has been very debilitating and painful. Walking a block is almost humerous b/c of the pain and any other physical activities cease to exist for me. But through this journey of pain and patience, or lack there of, I have learned to live in the moment not only for me but for my 2 yr old son & 4 yr old daughter.

    I can not wait to be able to take a simple wall around the block with my kids. Or visit the zoo or playground without worry about how plentiful the benches will be.

    You have always been an inspiration for me & even though I’m starting from step one literally, I plan on a very active summer just soaking up the rays of my kids’ smiles! Their laughter is infectious!

  37. Lisa on July 2nd, 2010 7:39 pm

    One of my favorite quotes (and I can’t even remember where I saw it) is “Don’t miss the magic of the moment by focusing on what’s to come.” Certainly applies to parenthood….

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