As with most things these days, I am a little late, but I’ll say it anyway–Happy Mother’s Day!
Motherhood. Wow! What a crazy, important and potentially disastrous adventure. The thing about motherhood is it is a trial by error, trial by fire sort of thing. And that is what makes it, I believe, the most difficult job on the planet.
This Mother’s Day, a friend of mine and I ran a 5K race called “Run like a Mother.” The tagline on the eco-friendly reusable bag we received was “Run like a mother is not just a race, it’s a way of life.” Hmm, as I think back over the last three years of motherhood, nay, the past two days, I believe this would be true.
Yesterday, I was chasing kids who were chasing ducks around a golf course, as we tried to cheer on daddy at a local golf fundraiser. Today?
Today, I decided to do something new. Now I know, I will never do it again.
Jacob has been learning to ride his bike (with training wheels of course), but the problem is practicing. We live on a semi busy street, and it makes me nervous every time I step onto the sidewalk with my two boys, one on wheels, the other on feet, which can be fast. But it was 9:30 a.m. traffic was light and there was a soft breeze. The kids wanted to go to the park. Great idea.
Since Jacob had been getting the hang of the bike, and could always use more practice, I thought we would all take a stroll to the park while he rode and Landon and I walked. The park was only 3 blocks away. Surely we could handle it.
It started out well. We moseyed to the park and arrived ready to play. The lawn care men were mowing the grass, but this only added to the wonder of the park for my boys. So we see-sawed, we stared at the industrial sized lawn mowers. We ate a snack on the bench. And then, when the mowers were gone, the boys wanted to run. Since our backyard is so small, the park is the best place for the boys to get out and run. So they did.
But then Jacob began to get frustrated from the newly mown grass getting in his crocs and itching his feet. So he took off running. He ran with abandonment, fast and far. And he wasn’t listening.
I hollered at him to stop, but he did not respond. So, I took off running and literally ran like a mother to catch him.He finally stopped about ten feet from the curb.
I was so scared. I could just see my worst nightmare coming true. I grabbed his little hand and did my best scolding/explaining without flat out yelling, that I could as I gasped for air. We had just made a huge scene in the neighborhood park. But for the first time in my life as a mom I didn’t even care. I only cared about his safety. So as I hollered, yelled, and ran as fast as my legs could go, afterwards I had no shame. Really, I had done what every other mother would have done.
When it was all over, I learned something very important, something perhaps I would have learned no other way than to try it: A two year old and a three year old are too young to “walk” to the park without restraining devices, no matter how close it is. I need a leash. Okay, or a wagon. To be sure, I will never do it again. It doesn’t solve the issue of my son taking off, because that could certainly happen just like it did today while playing at the park. But it makes the walk to and from the park much easier and much less stressful. Especially, when you realize how untrustworthy they are.
When we finally got home from the park, I was exhausted and frustrated. I was tired from carrying my two year old son the whole way home and keeping track of Jacob and his little bike. I was frustrated with Jacob for not listening, and frustrated with myself for deciding to do something that left us all drained and grumpy, when we had started out so well.
I was helping my boys wash their hands in the bathroom after using the potty (well, Jacob used the potty, Landon just watches) when I looked up in the mirror and happened to notice what I was wearing for the first time since putting it on this morning.
It was a baby blue t-shirt that read: “Run like a mother, 2012 Mother’s Day 5k.”
I smiled for the first time since embarking on our epic journey to the neighborhood park. Yup, I was definitely just running like a mother out there.
Thus, it is with humor that God lightens my load and gets me to laugh a little.
Aside from the humorous kismet of it all, it was also reassuring. For there to be 5k races across the nation with this title, I guess that means I am not the only mother chasing my kids at the local park. It brings a little peace to the soul to know that I am not alone in this truly epic journey, trial by fire thing we call motherhood.