Eventually I will stop counting the days. Maybe. It’s motivating. And I am also a numbers person. It’s late and my mom/Uber duties took priority tonight. The fun thing about living close to our son in college is that I get to drive carpool. On rare occasion, but when it works I’m in. Such a great way to get to know the adult friends now a part of his everydays living away f…rom home. A bonus coffee this morning with our older son on his way in to join in with the marathon festivities today. I am a lucky mama.Today is an inspirational day in Boston. I truly cannot do it justice. Similar to the way I felt about living near the Naval Academy in Annapolis and the tradition of the Blue Angels, the energy of Patriot’s Day is very special. So many runners. I missed my friend, unlike last year, and yet was so glad to talk to the folks cheering next to me. Watching the tracker and getting high fives, smiles and also the total opposite . Some real in the moment pain and discouragement, and witnessing fellow runners reaching out. Waiting. Nudging. Walking beside.I thought my writing tonight would be all marathon. I actually thought I might want to train for one. For maybe 7 minutes. And then I shifted gears. I don’t know that I will ever add that particular amazing accomplishment to my resume or bucket list, but I do think it is symbolic for other things in our life that require endurance. In particular, parenthood.
This, especially significant, having dropped the clan off at their respective dorms and circling around for a few minutes to visit one on one with our traveling son.
I remember someone telling me when Jack was little, “you’d be surprised, but they need you when they’re older. Almost more.” “Suuuuurrre!” I thought to myself. Visions of independent, capable, older child coming to mind. And yet as time passed, and independence grew, so did the importance of consistency. An open door. Any time of day or night. To be fully present especially on nights when I was ready for bed and there was the question. “Mom? Can we talk?” Mind you, there were plenty of dinner table discussions of very few words. But when he was ready or willing. So was I. (And his wise and balancing dad, depending on the situation at hand).
Tonight we made it to mile 25, and he needed a pep talk. Or really just a talk. Sad about the dog, processing losing his family sidekick since second grade. As much as I cherished her companionship, they grew up together. And it’s a tough pill to swallow.
Once again, the life is messy laboratory proves to be a beautiful place. I spent a lot of time rushing this and that and these years I am in have taught me and still whisper, slow down. (“You move too fast. You gotta make the moment last. Just kickin’ down the cobblestone…”) I digress.
Tonight I dropped off a 20 year old lovely young man. Ready for a shower and dreading the workload of the remainder of the semester. Laughing with his friends, confident in directions and the US Constitution. And I also hugged the little boy who loved his dog. Bounding through the door with backpack and swim bag in hopes of some game time or a delicious afterschool snack. It’s all connected and I am grateful to be present and accounted for. The world is amazing and demanding. The expectations and high hopes of accomplishment and performance sometimes daunting. These can at times be tough shoes to fill. They need you. Almost more.