This experience made me happy. I hope resonates with you.
Recently my daily run routine has rubbed off the kids who now show a healthy interest in running and exercise. When I told them about a charity 5k run they instantly wanted to do it. The plan was for me to run the race on my own and get my “workout” done in a competitive environment. When finished, I would double back and join up with Jackie and the kids so we could all cross the finish line together as a family. However, like all best laid family plans timing and activities got in the way and Jackie had to take Harry to football. Molly wanted to stay with her and Robbie still wanted to do the run with dad.
The Change of Plan
“Ah Crap!” I thought to myself. “Now I won’t be able to do a proper run because Robbie won’t be able to keep up and there is no one to mind him.”
With no other options available I resigned myself to thinking “Ah sure, it’ll be grand. I can go for a proper run tomorrow, we’ll have fun and Robbie will love it”. So, with my competitive run off the agenda we headed for the track.
Here’s The Magical Part
As Robbie and I approach the start line the nervous anticipation of a big race is amplified by the buzz of competitors suffocating the start line. A spiritual presence momentarily fills the air as the starter gun goes off under a deep blue sky amplifying the splendour and warmth of precious spring sunshine.
As Robbie starts to run I notice him push the button on his wrist to start his stopwatch. It is at this moment I realise that this was going to be a competitive run after all. Not because it was going to be fast, but because it was going to be Robbie’s childhood memory of his first big run with dad and I wanted to make it perfect for him.
“Well done”, “Your doing great”, “Control you’re breathing”, “only 4k to go”, “Keep it up”, “Ok we’ll walk for a bit”, “Ready to go again? Good boy”. “Almost there”, “Don’t give up”, “Only 1k to go”, “There’s the finish line”, “Keep going”, “Keep going”, “Keep Going”. “Well done Robbie. You did it, that was amazing”.
With my arm around Robbie we crossed the line together making this run the best run I ever did.
What Did I Learn?
We all know that, with kids, the most meticulous planning can be made redundant in an instant. Our patience and flexibility are tested on a daily basis. But when all the compromises and sacrifices we make for our kids work their magic in an effort to let us know they are worth it, they deliver to us unique moments and experiences that money simply can’t buy.
I guess the moral of this story is that without realising it our actions, as parents, are witnessed and noted by our children as they are inspired and influenced by what they see in us. It is our actions that help create those magical bonding moments that make family the most powerful force in the universe.
Until the next lesson in life comes my way,