Heart-full.

I love watching my three year old run.  It has become one of my great joys in life.  He runs as if it is what he was made to do.  He runs fast and exuberantly, taking off a block away from the park, knees pumping.  His run is punctuated by involuntary skips and jumps, legs pushing their limits in a rush to get to the playground.   When he glances back at me, his face is pure joy.

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He has kid legs now, long and lean. I can see the muscle definition in his thighs when he runs and jumps and stretches; his arms when he carries, throws, reaches up for me to hold him; his stomach when I tickle him.  His little body is absolutely incredible- a work of art.  God’s perfection standing before me.

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Sometimes he runs just because he wants to, because it feels good.  He runs up and down the sidewalk, through puddles, laughing with delight.  He pushes his boundaries running down our street, glancing back to see how I am reacting as he runs in spurts, farther and farther down the sidewalk.  Someday he will be driving down this same street and I can already feel the lump in my throat, the blood pumping through my veins as I push back the anxiety of letting him go.

Meanwhile, my other boy is beginning to discover his capacity for movement and I can already tell he is going to keep me on my toes, just as he did during his pregnancy.  He shows a tremendous interest in exploring our house, loves holding onto your hands as he walks, constantly.  He’s been crawling for a few weeks, quickly picking up a three-legged crawl in his effort to move from place to place and follow his brother around. He pulls himself up onto anything that will hold him; standing at our toy shelf and systematically pulling everything off it.  I love watching the determination he displays when he moves from one place to the next.  I love seeing the automatic smile that forms when he claps and waves and recognizes my voice.

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I didn’t know what it would be like to form a relationship with another child.  As an only child myself, I didn’t know what it looked like for a parent to have a relationship with more then one child, to give themselves in different ways, depending on the needs of each child on a particular day.  I didn’t know it would feel so expansive, so awe inspiring, to realize during the small moments of our day that I am forming a separate relationship with Cameron that is so different from my relationship with Casey but just as big, just as loving.  I didn’t know that it would feel so good to have a second boy who found comfort in my arms, who just wants to lay his head on my shoulder or hang onto my leg or cuddle next to me in bed, just because I am his mother.  It gives a true meaning to the term “heart-full.”

 

 

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Running.

"Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running."

“Remember, the feeling you get from a good run is far better than the feeling you get from sitting around wishing you were running.”

I went running today for the first time in a very long time.  It felt great.  I meant to just go for a walk along the river with Casey in the stroller, which I did, but, when I turned around to come home, I just felt like running.  So I did.  I ran for a mile, maybe.  It was good to run simply because it was what I wanted to do and because it felt good.  I’m a runner at heart, although I haven’t kept up the habit for a few years now.  In high school I ran to compete and in both high school and college running was a way to stay in shape and keep my body looking good.  After college, running became something that both felt good and helped me feel good about how I looked, but it wasn’t always fun.  Today I had fun.  I felt free and invigorated.  It was different.  Pushing the stroller while I ran, I used different muscles and a different form than I was used to.  It was hot and I sweat, a lot, and I felt every burning breath fill my lungs to capacity and although I didn’t run fast, my cross country training instinctively kicked in and I felt my self pushing the uphills a bit and letting my stride lengthen going downhill.  I don’t think our stroller is technically a jogging stroller but it has three wheels and runs pretty smoothly and it must have good suspension because it takes the bumps in the sidewalks pretty easily.

For a while now, even before I was pregnant, I have felt the calling to start running again but there was always an excuse not to.  I didn’t want to run in the city, it was raining, I was pregnant.  I was always able to put it off and was simply too lazy to put on my tennis shoes.  Now, after one short run, the fuse has been lit and the passion to start running again is burning within.  Especially with those crisp fall days approaching!  I’m reminiscent of my cross country races on Saturday mornings- the butterflies wriggling around in my stomach as we warmed up, those last few sprints before the absolute stillness as we stood at the line waiting for the starting gun, everything disappearing in those first few moments when all you are thinking about is getting a good position in the pack.  The races themselves were never easy but the feeling after finishing a race where you’ve run your hardest is like nothing I’ve ever felt.  It’s a drop dead exhilarating exhaustion.

I don’t want to race again, not yet at least.  But I do want to run.