Fun Run

Hey, guess what? You were right! I was sick! Hooray! I’ve never been so happy to have a cold! Especially because I’m already starting to feel better.

This is especially fortunate because I am running a 10K this weekend and I would rather not run every race I’m registered for this year whilst in the throes of the ague. I haven’t had much of a chance to run this week, what with my heavy time commitments in the areas of whining and complaining, so I decided to try to get a short run in this afternoon while Sam was at soccer practice.

Photo of Sam running backwards on a soccer field.

Sam. At soccer practice.

The only flaw in my plan was that I was in charge of Jack and Quinn as well. They were extremely happy on the swings that overlook the soccer field, so I tried to run back and forth on the path that snaked between them that allowed me to still watch my smaller munchkins and make sure they weren’t departing for more interesting pastures.

Sadly, it only took me a few minutes to realize that I would have to run something like 38 tiny laps to get any decent mileage.

I did not want to run 38 tiny laps.

Happily, when I said to Jack and Quinn, “Come on, guys; run with me!” they did! We departed down the path, leaving the soccer field behind us.

Photo of a paved trail through trees. Quinn and Jack are on the trail ahead of me, running away from the camera.

Jack and Quinn. Running.

It was, by far, the least productive run I’ve been on in a long time, but oh dear lord was it fun.

They actually did a really good job too. We would run for a little bit and then we would walk and if we saw a dog, we would stop to pet it. I kept track of our running (not the walking parts) on my Garmin and they ran for a little over a mile.

Like rock stars.

I think it might have been when my kids were marveling over the group of seven deer that we happened upon, followed by much excitement over a robin pecking around nearby that I realized how much fun running with my kids is.

Quinn would run up ahead and then jump out from behind a tree to ambush Jack and I and we would laugh. Jack and I would run really fast to catch up to Quinn and then he would scream and cry when we ambushed him. Both kiddos made serious but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to pet deer. We watched a creek. We had a heart-stopping lesson in remembering to stop at roads. Jack politely informed a smoker that he should quit for his health. Quinn hid from a peloton of bikers on a nearby road by crouching behind a bank of daffodils. Jack quite literally stopped to smell the flowers.

Jack walking throgh trees on a paved path while inspecting something he is holding in his hand.

Then Jack picked said flowers, told me he wanted me to help him make a dye out of them, and very carefully inspected them for suitability. It slowed us down considerably.

The whole damn thing was delightful as hell.

We got back in plenty of time for Jack to find more flowers and for Quinn to play on the swings and run into a friend from his class at school.

Photo of Quinn swinging.

Quinn has recently made great strides in his swinging ability. He gets JOY from swinging now. It’s awesome.

I run for a lot of reasons. I run to be healthy, to be fitter, to be faster, to train for races, to feel strong. Today I ran for fun. Just for fun. It was wonderful. I’ll have to remember to do that more often. And I need to remember to invite my new little running buddies to do it with me.

And then soccer practice ended and Quinn called Sam stupid and Sam threw a shoe that hit Quinn in the face and there was no more happy for anyone ever again. So, there’s that.

Wait. There actually is a little more happy. But just a little.

Photograph of a plant. Due to the position of its purple flowers and the shape of it's green leaves and the coloring of the purplish leaves at the very top, this plant looks just like a very silly bird.

“Hello! I’m a bird! I bring happy back!”

23 thoughts on “Fun Run

  1. Sounds like fun, but I wonder how the smoker felt upon being admonished by a random child? I’m pretty sure he (or she) already knows smoking isn’t good for you, and I doubt it resulted in a resolution to quit. It probably just kind of spoiled his (or her) afternoon the way that a stranger telling you that one of your kids was acting weird and what the heck was wrong with him would spoil yours.
    I’m not defending smoking, but I wonder sometimes when I see kids lecturing overweight adults that they really shouldn’t be eating that doughnut, or harranguing smokers on the evils of tobacco. It seems rude and disrespectful for a child to address adults that way, although I’m sure your son had good intentions.
    Just IMO. Your kids are terrific and I like reading about their adventures. I just think they sometimes learn things in school (all strangers are potential rapists is one of them) that are not helpful at all.

    • I actually feel the same way. Jack and Quinn were petting the guy’s dog and Jack was actually very sweet and concerned about it. I don’t feel like the guy took it badly. He and I had a little conversation after I told Jack that the man has every right to smoke and then the dude and I joked about propaganda in health classes at school. I am very aware of what you’re saying in your comment and agree with you, and definitely tried to deal with it respectfully to both parties in the moment. :)

      • On the one hand, and without having raised children, it does seem good to explain why we don’t approach strangers with unsolicited advice. And, it seems that the man took Jack’s comments with good humor.
        otoh, smoking is very bad for you, so… the man knew that.

      • Also, there does seem to be a distinction between a child telling an adult to not smoke, and an [adult] stranger telling you that one of your kids was acting weird and asking what the heck was wrong with him.
        The former is potentially dangerous [because what if the man was angry? etc.].
        The latter just seems very wrong. Unless the adult was just wondering, which does seem rather unlikely.
        I might post a couple of related questions, at some point…. Nothing important; more about how I handled a couple of specific situations.

      • Now I need to walk more.
        I haven’t even installed the Nike app on my phone.
        And, side note, it doesn’t appear to require a chip in your shoe or whatever. So I have NO excuses.

  2. i love everything about this post. i mean, not that you were sick and not that there was no fun ever again ever, but, still, the writing, it’s just … well, it’s you. and i love you. so, i guess that sums it up.

    good talk.

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  4. Okay so I really want to comment about how fun and touching this post was and how completely adorable you are but I CAN’T SEE THE BIRD. I’ve really, really looked. Why can’t I see the bird? Am I not trying hard enough? Am I failing some kind of test? Help me!

    • The bird: See those two purple things on the center top? Those are his eyes. The triangular leaf facing down under them is his beak. He has purply tufty feathers above his eyes.

    • Hi; So, please don’t feel bad. I had to look twice to see the bird.
      And [yes, I know this is weird] there is also a puppy to the immediate left of the bird. You might need to squint a little to see the puppy.
      Jean, please say that you see that too. And don’t humor me. I’m getting a bit concerned. There’s a puppy … right? :)

      • On the bird’s left, correct? Like on the right side of the photo? And it kind of looks like a poodle, right? If that is the case, I totally see it. If not, then no. :)

  5. I updated my autism reading and movies post. I read the last book in the post, which was a planned read then, a little over two months ago and I remembered two more movies and one more book.

  6. That sounds like a great day… Exercise, nature, and family bonding all squished together in one activity! I would enjoy running a lot more if I had such amusing running buddies!

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