The other day, school was cancelled and my son needed to go out for a run. As usual, I got excited and—even though I already ran a couple of miles earlier at my gym, I joined him.
At some point during the run, I started to slow down. He ran ahead of me. We ran by some kids playing in the snow. When they saw me trudging along, trying to keep up with my son, they cheerfully yelled out “Are you his mother?” I paused for a moment before saying “Yes.” They waved happily and continued playing.
For some reason, their comment made me feel old. They may as well have asked if I was his grandmother, or handed me a pair of slippers and an apron.
Well, I’ll show them what THIS mom can do, I thought. Of course, I knew they weren’t even watching me anymore. But this wasn’t really about them. This was about me.
With a sudden burst of energy I didn’t know I had, I began speeding up—closing in on the distance between my son and I.
I looked at my watch. I was down to a 7-minute mile. The slushy patches of snow along the sides of the road made noises as I ran hard on them.
I felt the wind at my face and the cold air in my lungs. Perhaps I’m not really a mom…..
He heard my footsteps right behind him and turned around in surprise. Maybe I’m 15 years old….
We were now running side by side. My steps were in sinc with his as the road widened ahead of us. Is this what it feels like to be a young runner?
I looked at him and pointed happily at my watch. This feels fantastic!!
Uh oh. All of a sudden, my legs–along with the rest of my body, seemed to remember what it says on my birth certificate. I immediately had to slow down.
He sped ahead of me once again.
Since I started running later in life, I guess I’ll never know what it really feels like to be a young runner. That’s okay though. I’m at peace with it, and I’m proud to be my son’s mom.
But it was still a great moment.