Tag Archives: parents

#Sub60 10k: 18 of 61 – Stepmoms Run

Memorial Day Race
Blue & Lil Blue post 5k

Thursday morning, I ran with the youngest. He’s 11 and likes a good adventure as much as the next kid.

After a strong finish during a recent 5k race, he agreed with his father and I that running would be good summertime pursuit. He’s athletic, with a determined heart, and was undaunted by my description of Thursday’s running plan.

Eleven (almost 12) is that interesting age where some are still open to public kisses from parents, but are pretty sure they’ve got this thing (life) all figured out. Or at least they want you to think so.

As a veteran classroom  teacher turned new stepmom, it’s an interesting tug-of-war watching this play out, even as you know what’s going on. I know how kids generally work. I know where mine is on this or that developmental scale. But I (and every other parent) constantly wonder – am I doing the right thing? Stepmomming while running is no different.

He jogged the warm-up mile with no problem, and then it was high-low intervals on the track. He ran out of steam early (11-year-olds don’t sleep during the summer), so I left him to walk/run at his own pace while I continued mine. I knew from our earlier talk he was fine with this, and yet seeing him on the other side of the track, small and alone in the distance tugged at my heart. Should I sprint over to him to catch up and check in? Should I slow down on the next lap so we can run together?

Laughing while warming up today.
Laughing while warming up today.

Ultimately I stuck to my plan, checking on him and slowing a wee bit when we passed naturally. Each time he assured me he was fine, and on the way home, when I asked once more, he gave me a “knock it off” look. A polite one, a few steps below tween exasperation and eye rolling, but hinting at it all the same.

He didn’t join Blue and I on today’s 3 miler, opting for Saturday sleeping instead. Just as well. Starting this afternoon he has a big weekend-long sleepover with this friends. I’m sure he needed all extra rest he could gather.

Comfort zone

As a general rule, I love routine. I like to be oriented. I want clear directions. I want to know what to expect. As a child, my parents thought it was cool to say things like, “Let’s go!” without any explanation as to where we were going. Some people think this is adventurous. I found it highly irritating.

Sometimes my mother would give me a choice between some wonderful surprise or staying home. If I couldn’t know in advance, I always chose to stay home. They never caught on that I just needed to know what I was getting in to. The ice cream, the movie, the {insert wonderful thing}, was simply not enough of a draw. The key thing for me was knowing what was going on. Having a clear sense of place and belonging.

I’d like to say I grew out of it. The truth is, I am just more willing to be uncomfortable. I dislike going into crowded rooms if I am unfamiliar with the layout. I’m not excited to strike up conversations with strangers just because we’re near each other.

I will do these things, and I can make the best out of it. I can smile genuinely and find points of connection. I can get oriented in a disorienting situation.

But it doesn’t bring me pleasure.

Many times I’ll opt in to uncomfortable situations just for the sake of growth. Or love. Or some such noble reason.

But every now and again, I opt out.  Just for the sake of me.

Sometimes I’m shy. Sometimes I’m an introvert. Sometimes I’m moody. Always I’m me! *shimmies*