Yesterday, I completed the Oakland Half Marathon. It was good, bad, and ugly. I’ve never been a fast runner and my expectations are pretty well managed in terms of my own athletic prowess. My race goal was to complete it and enjoy the day.
Before leaving the house for the event, I let my husband know that I really really reallyÂ hoped he couldÂ bring the children somewhere along the route to cheer me on, if it wasn’t too much trouble, orÂ even if it was a little too much trouble. To that end, I made my own sign that said “GO MOMMY GO” and laid it out on the breakfast table next to two cowbells for making noise. During the race, I texted him so they might know where to find me.
I was delighted and surprised when I saw my oldest son running and cheering for me around Mile 8. You know I wasn’t expecting to be seen at that moment, because he caught me walking and eating a mini muffin instead of running at top speed. But I loved it.
Once HoldenÂ saw me running, he started chasing me, which I welcomed. Within 30 seconds, he asked me where his shirt was for his music performance later that day. After all, now he had my ear. Next, he lamented that he didn’t get any of his after-school class picks. (Daddy had to register without me that morning and did a fantastic job for a rookie!) Can I do something about this? Holden wonders. I am wondering if I will finish this race.
Once we caught up with Daddy and little brothers, my heart burst with the sight of my full range of spawn cheering me on.
You can see Holden with his sign right behind me. Little brothers Milo and Sawyer are the orange-hoodied hustling a smaller person on the sidewalk. I pulled over for a quick smooch and readied myself to receive more words of encouragement. Sawyer asked me to fix his jammed cowbell. Typical.
All the races and all the miles of pretending other people’s “Run, Mommy!” signs were for me, and I got to parent them while running. I spent the next mile in giggles, reflecting on the fact that however fast-paced I move through their space, my boys are ready to reach out and grab me whenever they can.