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On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: Celebrating the Race

Waiting for your children to share and even enjoy one of your favorite activities or hobbies takes patience, but is worth the wait!

Please forgive me for gloating in this post. I am teeming with glee as I celebrate the very first time that my children and I participated in the same 5K. We did not run side by side, but we crossed the same starting and finish lines as we added support to our town’s American Red Cross Walk/Run for Life.

For more than 25 years, I have been an avid runner. Some people prefer to run on their own, but I have always loved having a running partner (s). I often run with my husband and friends. And, over the last five years, my daughter has been an occasional, but favorite running partner. We run together for fun and have done many charity races. Five years ago she struggled to finish a four-mile run for lung cancer and today she came in 2nd in her age group.  On our runs, I often think, “It doesn’t get better than this….” And, today, it just got better.

While I have tried, unsuccessfully, to motivate my son to run in the past, he has just recently become self-motivated. His impetus for running is to be more fit for soccer. That is admirable, but I would have even been happy if his impetus was TV time after a long run. He joined the high school winter track team and is now having a great time running with friends and challenging himself. He used to dodge any attempt I made to get him to run — with me, on his own or in an organized race. So, when we asked him about doing this American Red Cross run and he quickly said, “YES,” I privately jumped with joy. I was so nervous about him backing out that I put off signing him up until 30 minutes before the race was set to begin.

I wish I could tell my mom about our day. I’d love to tell her how this reminds me of some of her favorite activities that she wanted my family to enjoy with her.  As an antiques dealer and aficionado, she wanted us to stop at just about every antiques store we encountered. During family road trips we sometimes gave great effort to diverting her attention from any antiques store we spotted. It was almost comical — “Mom, can you help me with this crossword puzzle….would you check the map…do you like my hair this way….”

I have often thought of how thrilled she must have been the first time I said yes to her invitation to join her at an antiques auction. My attendance was only partly to appease her and mostly to try it out. I was starting to plan for my own apartment and thought I might need some antiques. And, after buying a pretty set of dishes (her treat and favorites that I still use), I converted. I started to enjoy browsing in antiques stores – with her and even on my own.

It was not easy to “wait” for both of my children to enjoy one of my favorite activities. And, I knew it might not happen, there was no guarantee that they would ever share my passion. Just like my mom, I nagged a bit and then held back. I pleaded a few times and then forced myself to ignore the topic completely. Just as my mom was, I’m sure, excited for our 2nd antiques auction outing, I am excited for the next opportunity to pursue this newly formed family tradition!

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