anything can happen

Do, Do, Do, Do

I teach my children that anything can happen. We all do. On any given day I help levitate that adage with encouragement to go ahead and do it! I delight in that part of parenthood. I scoop heaping tablespoons of their dreams and hopes into my heart. We all build our kids up, reassuring, urging them on. Anything can happen.

Anyone can be anything. Anything can happen. Any day can be the greatest day. Anything can happen, even on the brightest clearest bluest days.

I hesitate briefly to enjoy those cloudless blue beautiful days now. The world our kids are growing within is dangerous and unpredictable and full of the makings of nightmares. I think about this when I run; that anything can happen.

Last May, I started huffing and puffing and forcing myself to train for a 5K with friends. I didn't really want to run so much as prove I could. I lean toward the kind of competitive you don't want to play Monopoly with. I was so fearful before the start of that run that I might not even finish. I had barely run the three and change miles in my six weeks of training. Training which included shuffle stepping initially to make one tiny loop of the neighboring area. I celebrated my first mile like it was a triathlon finish. Back then not stopping for the whole mile was the best run ever.

It felt pretty good to finish, I was triumphant, so I kept running off and on that summer and ran again this past fall with those same friends and my cousin in memory of a BC grad who gave his life on 9/11.

Sandy Hook.

The Marathon.

It is not my will to run that keeps me running, nor my enjoyment of logging those miles. I bet some people watch the miles add up and feel satisfaction. I mostly think about how many hours without my kids and Steve that adds up to. Ah yes, good ol' mom guilt. Sure, it's also about health and since doing my combo Insanity/Running I have never felt better (or fit into some of my old favorite dresses and pants). For me, it's more about doing something in the face of all this sadness which I feel powerless to change. Anything. I think about those things when I run and they propel me forward, forcing my body to lean into the expanse ahead of me. Twenty more yards, five more minutes, just around the corner until I get back to them.

How many more times will I need to reassure my children in the wake of senseless tragedy? How many more terrible things before they stop believing that these are the exception and not the new normal? How can I send them off each day with confidence not just in who they are and how to cope with playground drama, but the sense of how to be safe should they encounter some terrible circumstance without scaring them half to death? How can I reinforce all of this when anything can happen?

All the books and articles we read about parenting always tell us to lead by example. Do as I say and as I do. If I'm fearful, and Lord knows I am, then how can they be anything but. They can see through me now, especially Caroline, and they know when I am uneasy. I can't always turn things into a joke and tease them about how we are having monkey stomach for dinner. Sometimes it has to be serious when serious questions are asked.

So in working hard to continue that "Be not afraid" mantra I took on after Newtown, I registered for the Boston Athletic Association 10K on June 23rd. It runs right through the heart of some of the residential neighborhoods most affected by the bombing, just a couple blocks over on Comm Ave, both starting and finishing between the Park and the Common. I'm in week three of my training, up to 4 miles a run now, working on my pace, and feeling stronger (and more sore) by the day. I'm running to show the strength that exists in our city and to show my kids that anything can happen; even Mommy can run that race.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you Kerri! You run for whatever reason - it is all good!

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