“If You Can Keep Up”


I have never been much of a mushy cuddly parent. I will snuggle the hell out of them as babies, but as they get older and start to lose their desire for that – I don’t try to push it. I let them have their space – and I want mine, too.

In the last few years, maybe longer, maybe since they were born, my kids haven’t really seen me happy. They have seen me crying… they have seen me anxious and uncomfortable…. sad and depressed. I detached myself from most people, and became estranged from people who I loved because I never felt like they would let me close enough to feel a part of the relationship or friendship. Perhaps it was my fault – but maybe in some cases it was theirs. Who knows…?

Girl Child and I have struggled with striking a balance since my divorce and subsequent toxic relationships… and we fought for the Alpha Female… sometimes we still do. It’s a losing battle for her – but it has strained our relationship significantly. We haven’t had a lot of things to do together. Drew and I go to all the soccer games and chat with other parents and cheer on our kids. We take them Cake Hunting… if you don’t know what that is, you don’t live in STL… and do stuff as a family but Girl Child and I just haven’t had a lot.

She came into the room and saw me getting ready to do some stretches to prepare for a nighttime run (usually my short runs are a typical 5k. 3.1 Miles) and asked if she could come. I made a cocky joke.. “If you can keep up.” I am not a fast runner, more of an endurance runner, who is trying to get faster, and she said “I can!” and immediately went to change. Not only can she keep up… but she gains speed and distance on me on the downhill, she’s lighter than me and with my supination I lose stability on downhill runs – so I have to take downhills with more structure and focus — while she just barrels down with wild abandon.

I can see this being our “thing”. We have finally found something that doesn’t bore me to tears. I know I KNOW! I am a Mom and I should just LOVE everything my kids want to do with me (wrong) and just be glad that they are “still little”. Wrong. I don’t want to sit on the floor and play Littlest Pet Shops, and I don’t want to watch annoying Tween movies… I also don’t want her to read half of the book “Holes” to me… But this… this I can do. We can run together. I can train her to run 5k’s and then perhaps we’ll run our first half – marathon together when she is a little older.

However… she will probably never forget her headphones and MP3 player again … she got 3.1 miles of me singing loudly and dance-running to whatever music was rolling through on my playlist to try to help her stay motivated. She was very embarrassed. Kind of annoyed. “Mooooooooooooom, staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhpppppp. You’re nuts!” Yeah…. Yeah, I am.

Running could be our ‘thing’.

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