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.

4741177022_bd43d4efe4

4740541231_7e9a641fb6

4740541073_edfd33a873

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.

4741177506_c43d8d5461

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
37 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Amy M.
Amy M.
11 years ago

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!

JennB
11 years ago

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.

Fiona
Fiona
11 years ago

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!

Pete
Pete
11 years ago

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

Melissa
Melissa
11 years ago

So very cool.

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

Amy
Amy
11 years ago

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.

Donna
Donna
11 years ago

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?

Amy
Amy
11 years ago

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.

Christina
11 years ago

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 :)

Anonymous
Anonymous
11 years ago

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

Mama Bub
11 years ago

“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.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
11 years ago

“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.

Mama Ritchie
11 years ago

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

Amy
Amy
11 years ago

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

Erika
Erika
11 years ago

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. :)

Shana
Shana
11 years ago

Best blog post ever!

H
H
11 years ago

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.

Maria
11 years ago

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

Lesley
Lesley
11 years ago

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.

Robin
Robin
11 years ago

‘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!

M. Bailey
11 years ago

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

Tia
Tia
11 years ago

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!

warcrygirl
11 years ago

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

Sara
11 years ago

Good job Riley!

lisa-marie
11 years ago

That is awesome! Go, Riley!

telegirl
telegirl
11 years ago

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

adequatemom
11 years ago

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.

Lisa
Lisa
11 years ago

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!

Simon
11 years ago

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.

SJ
SJ
11 years ago

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

Carrie
11 years ago

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

Melissa
11 years ago

Awesome job, Riley!

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

Guinness74
11 years ago

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.

Eliza
Eliza
11 years ago

This warms my cold black heart.

Zephyr
11 years ago

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!

Tiffany  *OH - IO*
Tiffany *OH - IO*
11 years ago

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!

Lisa
Lisa
11 years ago

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….