Waking kids up in the morning is a pain in the you-know-what.
I NEVER woke my kids up when they were babies. Three-hour naps twice a day? Fine. Go for it. Sleep all you want. All parents’ instinct is this. Why? Because all parents learn very quickly that a baby, toddler, kid of any age, who is overtired …is like dealing with an insane person. Little bodies go limp and start flailing to the ground, tears stream down worn-out faces, nerves fry at all ends, and they fall down. Literally.
This is the first summer since my kids don’t have to wake up to come with me to coach Cross Country practice. Instead of packing breakfast to-go I am watering my plants and enjoying my cup of coffee. There is a big, quiet, gap in my summer mornings.
My oldest daughter, Brianne, though totally in love with “the runners” was the first to raise her hand at the family meeting when repeating the grueling schedule of the previous fall was discussed. “Too busy, TOO busy.” was her “two” sense. And she was absolutely right. Coupled with the diagnosis of my auto immune disease, my husbands long work hours, and my parents permanent move from down the street to South Florida …it was time to take a step back.
Brianne, now six, has loved every minute of having no agenda. Her rise and shine time drifts longer into each day. All-day Kindergarten was brutal on her. I see pure joy in her face as she slowly meanders down the stairs in the morning and rolls onto the couch to watch a movie.
Little Lo, now four, has only gotten half the memo. She still bounces into my room somewhere between 5am and 7am in the morning to snuggle, and follows me around my morning routine.
“Momma, I want hot chocolate.” she will sleepily request. Hot chocolate and the Disney Channel …that’s how Lo rolls for the first few hours of the day.
One morning, the Cross Country team stopped by our house, and through a lump in my throat I watched Brianne remember …and witnessed her love for the whole scene rekindle right there on the spot. “The runners” waved every time they run by. It motivated my little girl, who has literally grown up around and thinks distance runners are the coolest people on the planet. (Which they are …I mean, duh.)
“Mom, if I get up and get ready can I run with you in the morning?” she asked. After all the “wondering what my kids are going to be passionate about,” I somehow knew early on running would eventually be it for her.
The first day she slept through our run, but I gave her my GPS and challenged her to see how many times around the yard add up to a mile. The answer is 10, and she happily ran for 1.57 miles. The next day Brianne made it up and out the door on time and we ran a mile and a half. She talked the ENTIRE way …and she cut me off …a lot! My old teammates would die of laughter if they could see it! Day three in a row, we ran 1.75 miles, ending at the lake, my favorite morning spot to take a picture.
A lot of things have changed over the past year. My body is in pain all the time from my battle with AS. Running just isn’t as healing as is used to be. My parents have moved away, making my everyday life is drastically different without them.
“Mom, you know what?” Brianne asked, while running, of course.
“What, Brianne?” I responded.
“I’m really glad I have a mommy like you who is a coach, ” as she looked up at me and smiled.
“But I’m not a coach anymore, Brianne,” I replied.
“Oh, yes you are, Mommy. Except now, you get to just coach me and Lo Lo. You’re little runners.” she explained.
Be still my heart.
“Yes, yes I can, Bri Bri Girl. You really love to run, don’t you?” I asked.
“Yep.” she nodded.
“Awesome.” I told her.
Happy Summer Mornings….
And now …May 22, 2019.
It’s good to look back and remember God’s hand on our lives …to remember His answered prayers and miraculous healings. In the grand scope of our memories, lie some of the answers to our next steps. Today, I needed to remember this painful season in life. The joy I have in Christ remained through it all. He blessed me with sweet moments of motherhood and miraculously healed my disease. Jesus relieved my physical pain and healed my heart.
I needed to remember my little runners, who are now growing up to be their own people. Brianne joined running club, this year, forgoing sleep to get there before school starts. She’s been so committed to dance over the last five years, I wondered if she would see it through. After the first day, she came running in the door …
“Mom!” she said, “all of my friends sprinted out in front of me at the beginning, but by the end I ran out of people to pass except for a couple of boys!” To see her rediscover the passion I could see so early in her life, all on her own, healed my doubts as a mom. We all have them. Doubts, fears, and decisions affecting our kids that don’t wait on assurance.
“Mom!” she came flying in after another running club day, “I was second today! Just one boy beat me!” I will not be able to contain myself if she ends up being a competitive distance runner. No matter what she does, I needed to remember that though my influence in important, I am not the author of her passions. She will find them on their own. God will draw her to Him, just like He did me, and she will experience the full life of following Christ. I needed to remember that, today. Motherhood is so hard. But oh …we have a God who is so good.