Today I stayed home to help my chili-damaged husband. He won’t stay off his foot unless I force him, apparently! So, today was a success. I ran errands, cleaned house, walked the kids back and forth to school and otherwise did all of the things that Bradley usually does. It was a pleasant day; one where I got to play house and see what it would be like to be a stay at home mom. It was fun, but I’m still convinced that I have the better end of the who stays home and who goes to work, deal. I’m really not into dishes. I’d rather teach than do dishes- teaching is fun. Dishes? Rarely, if ever.
When I got dressed I didn’t bother with jeans or anything, I knew I wanted to run so I just got my running gear on and wore it all day. When I picked the kids up from school, Gigi immediately accosted me and asked to go for a run! Of course I had actually saved my workout for when I could go with her, but her enthusiastic response made me feel really good. Then, when I suggested a quick two miles, she was disappointed and asked for a 5K, pleeeeaaasee! So, of course, who was I to say no? We went on a regular route, but I taught her to go in all of the cul-de-sacs for extra miles and by the end of it we had 3.4 miles under our feet. Not bad at all!
The best part of running with my daughter is the camradarie. I’ve said before that I definitely want to set a good example for my kids, but my secret goal from the get-go was to forge a running relationship with my daughter. My hope is that running will be a tool to settle her heart and mind as she gets older, and I hope it’s a bond that continues to link us forever. I planted this seed that she is a runner, long ago, and hoped it would take hold because I wanted us to have something we have always shared since her early childhood. We won’t play Barbies or make believe when she comes home from college at 20 years of age, but we still can run together. I like to imagine us running together through her wedding planning season, as she becomes a mother, when she comes home for holidays or I go to see her when she has moved far away. I like to think that if our relationship ever becomes challenged that our shared love of running together will be the balm that soothes our rough edges.
As we’ve become more fluent running partners over the years, we’ve learned that our best conversations and most vivid dreams come from running and chatting together. We have a natural foods bakery and comic shop planned for our future. We continue to design our fantasy Barbie houses while we run, talking about fabrics, textures, colors and art pieces we want to include. Over our shared miles she speaks about the details of her days. The funny thing the kid next to her said. The poem that moved her to tears and made her consider what childhood really means. She tells me the gossip from her day, what made her friends laugh or blush. How tall the boys are, finally. WPShe tells what she thinks of politics and the presidential race after listening to other sixth graders share their observations. I learn so much about who she is and how she processes the world while our feet beat the pavement. She fantasizes about running races and earning medals. Today she confessed that she doesn’t want a big sweet 16 party anymore, she wants to run the Walt Disney World Dopey Challenge*! She said a party would be fun, but The Dopey would make her feel accomplished, and ‘really, mom, that’s more like me, anyhow.’ Let’s do it, kid. Count me in!
Today was lucky. I got to run with my best girl.
*The Dopey Challenge happened last weekend at Walt Disney World. Starting on Thursday, participants ran a 5k, a 10k Friday, a half marathon Saturday and finished with a full marathon on Sunday! I’m with her. I would LOVE to do it, too, but I’d really need to be on point with my training. That said, to complete that challenge with my girl would be a pretty incredible experience.