Monday, June 26, 2017

Parenting Race

 So, I did this… ran an eight mile race.   Well, ran/walked.  haha, but I did it.  I have never done that before.   It was hard, but I did it.

As I was on the route, I had a chance to think about how it all related to parenting.   Here are a few of my thoughts.

At the beginning, I was running, slowly, but running.   I thought, I got this… after a bit, I had to walk.  I took off running so to speak.  What I really needed to do, was do what I knew to do.  As I was training, I would walk a block, run a block.  I knew that was what my body could do.   Maybe with parenting, it’s the same.  We know what we can do and what we can’t do.   When a new baby is born, we can’t keep the house spotless all the time.  When a child is sick, we may not be able to accomplish all we need to that day, week, or month.   When a child is sad, scared or any other emotion, we may have to put aside our expectations of ourselves and maybe even expectations of them at that time.  Do what you CAN do and don’t try to overdo to reach some unimagined finish line.

About 2 miles in, I was walking.  My pace was good to finish on time.  I looked over and there was a young lady walking on the other side at the same pace as me.   I said “hey let’s do this together, since we seem to be the same pace.”  She said “sure”.  So we ran/walked the rest of the way together.   I said at one point that I have never done this before and my goal was just to finish.  She said her goal was just to get there that morning.  She had accomplished her goal, so we cheered.  She has had a tragic life event in that recent past and hasn’t been doing much.   She didn’t tell anyone besides her mother, who drove her there, that she was doing this.   She needed to do it for herself.  That was her only goal.   FANTASTIC!   One step at a time ( or 12,000 + in our 8 miler).   She was discouraged at the mile 2 marker that she would be last to finish.   She had even sent a text to the race coordinators and asked what happened if you were the last to arrive.  They sent a text back saying. “then you get a police escort!” We both laughed and thought that would be pretty cool, so we weren’t worried.  We now both had the goal to just finish!

Sometimes life takes a different turn.  We think we are going one way with our kids, and in fact they have a different way of doing things.  Embrace the fun, embrace the positive and maybe change your goals.   You still have the BIG PICTURE goals of characteristics you want your children to have when they are adults, but you might have to change your small goals to get you there depending on what life sends your way.

At the finish line, we sprinted (well jogged we agreed) in.  We didn’t arrive last and we arrived within the time frame.  We had watched our time the whole time.   WE MADE IT!  We gave each other a huge hug.  New friends who worked together.  Maybe in parenting, we need to make sure we have GOOD friends along the way to push us when discouraged, or even just listen when we can’t do it.   When I say good friends, really look for that. There are too many parents out there who compare or put down or try to make themselves look good.  Find friends who support you.

Lastly…as I ran (jogged) into the finish line, three of my grandchildren were waiting there for me, cheering me on and ended up running with me.   My 6 year old grandson thinks I won the whole race because I got a medal!   We won’t tell him how long it took me or that everyone got one.  In his eyes, I’m a winner!   Your children think the same thing… in their eyes, you are the winner!  No race here, you are just a winning parent! 

A friend asked my grandson if he was there to cheer them on.  His reply was “no, I’m just here to cheer my grandma on!”   Thanks Karv! 

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