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Welcome! This is a blog about life after losing my mom (on April 7th, 2014), running (or not, depending on injuries), being a 'mama' to Grace, 13, Genevieve, 11, and Joseph 6, and teaching 13-18 year olds in Philadelphia. Thanks for being here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Running Cooper River Park

This morning Joseph woke at 5. Everyone else in the house was still asleep, and Joseph, after nursing, was wide awake, so I decided to put him in the jog stroller and run the river loop. I'm not a morning person, so this is something I rarely do. Joseph settled in for the ride and sucked his thumb, looking at me occasionally and smiling, and I got a nice calm start to the day: rowers on the river, a few people out walking their dogs, families of geese feeding on the grass. Towards the end of the run Joseph had enough and needed to be carried. He snuggled in like a little bear cub, and I cooled down before getting home and showering for the day. Though I'll never be a morning person, I was reminded today of the pleasures of an early run on a summer day.

 The picture below is of Joseph with big sister Grace, taken today on our front lawn.


Below is a blog I originally wrote and posted on ourprayer.org when Grace turned 5 two years ago. How fast time goes!:

For my daughter Grace’s birthday a few weeks ago, my parents gave her a refurbished two-wheel bike complete with streamers, a basket, and an “I love my bike” bell. Now one of Grace’s favorite activities is riding around the four mile trail that begins right at the end of our block. I follow behind, pushing her younger sister Genevieve in a jog stroller (Genevieve inevitably hates this and screams to get out and run the whole time, but what can you do?). The trail runs along the Cooper River, popular among rowers, sailors, and kayakers, and it has a great view of the Philadelphia skyline. On the far side of the river there’s a playground, where we often stop for a few turns on the slides and swings. The park smells like honeysuckle and barbecue, and it sounds like salsa music and laughter. I’ve always loved it.

Grace must have inherited this love, because as we made our way around the park last weekend, she let out a little whoop of joy, and then a “Woohoo!” It was a beautiful evening, with the sun low in the sky over the city, and little wisps of white clouds scattered across a pale blue sky. The air was cool, and lots of people were out for an evening stroll. Even better for Grace, she was able to ride so fast on her new bike that I could barely keep up.

Suddenly, just as she reached the bridge to cross to the other side of Cooper River, Grace brought her bike to a screeching halt. As I caught up to her, huffing and puffing, she looked at me seriously. “Mommy,” she asked, “How long do I get to be five?”

“You get to be five for one year, just like every other age.”

“Only one year?” Grace exclaimed, truly shocked and dismayed, “Oh, man!” She thought for a moment more, still straddling her bike (Genevieve had fallen asleep in the stroller).

“How many months do I get to be five for?”

“Twelve,” I answered.

Grace opened her mouth in amazement.“Twelve whole months!” she shouted. “Yes!”

She thought for a moment more. “How many days?”

At this answer, 365, Grace was back in her glory. She sat on her bike again and started pedaling, a huge smile on her face. 365 days to be five! Could life be any better?

Life can be long, and life can be short, but, as Grace reminded me, living it day by day and moment by moment is always the best way to go.

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