I was waiting to break into my new running shoes. Like a child waiting to play in the rain, I cast loving looks at the shoes every now and then and vowed to get up early the next morning and go for a run. Maybe my excitement rubbed off on my toddler son, but he was up before the lark and waiting for me by the shoes before my run. “Amma. Thum Amma Thum. Thunning Amma Thunning. Shoos thunning.”
(Lexicon: Thum: Come, Thun: Run, Shoos: Shoes)
My shoulders sagged a bit, but he had an enthusiastic-puppy-look about him and so off we went. The pair of us running with a stroller in hand. It was my plan to bundle him into the stroller a little way in and then run. But the fellow had plans of his own. He ran with his little steps by my side. I could walk, but he insisted I thun with him. So, I than. For this pace of running I needed no running shoes, but it was wonderful. He kept running, then squealed and stopped to see a passing truck. We ran again. A few feet on, there was a pile of dry leaves. We both jumped in there, squashing the leaves and listening to the crackle under our feet. This run was not going to be measured in terms of distance, that much was certain. We crushed the leaves underfoot till a yeti couldn’t have gotten a crackle out of it anymore. We ran some more and spotted a children’s park nearby and made for it. We chased birds, played in the swing and walked back – the toddler a spent force, but still refusing to sit in his stroller.
As we walked back that beautiful day, the sun burst forth with a few well chosen sprinkles of rain and we walked home under a glorious rainbow that the child said was ‘Ennow Tash’ (‘Rainbow Dash’ is the name of a pony princess or some such thing that he is forced to watch with his older sister. This famous Rainbow Dash has a wiki link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Dash#Rainbow_Dash) I am sure this will become a problem later, but for now he is proud he knows about Rainbow Dash, the pony princess.
When I read this article about an artist collaborating with her 4 year old son, the story warmed my heart. It reminded me of that run that became a rainbow dash and how what I planned turned into something far more meaningful just because I was willing to let go. Maybe, if we relinquish control more often, we will find joy in different ways.