Ah, parenting. Never before have I so closely examined what I am made of and questioned if it's enough. Confidence, patience, kindness. Heart of my heart. As I reflect on the magnitude of my blessings, I sometimes am so overwhelmed that I have to put my head down and blunder on. It reminds me of running when the beauty of nature all around you is so great, that by looking up you are afraid you will stumble and fall.
My friend Taylor and I ran a nearby trail a couple of months ago. At first, due to my unfamiliarity with my surroundings, I kept my head down, my eyes focused on the ground and my feet. Jogging over rocks and roots, I knew the beauty was around me, I could sense it and breathe it in, but I could not look at it fully. I couldn't risk veering off course.
It reminded me of being a child and the warning to never look directly at the sun. Only when you decided to cheat, to glance up at it, did you have its image seared on your mind's eye for many minutes afterwards.
When I stop to look around, to breathe in my children's glory, the love of my husband, the feeling sears itself to my soul, allowing me time to put my head down an continue on, knowing I will take that image with me.
On my trail run with Taylor we forgot to breathe in. Coming down, back towards our cars, we lost sight of our feet and our focus. We both ended up sprawled across the path, first me, and then T five minutes after, our bodies crashing back to reality. Breathe in, nature demanded. Here I am. Marvel in my glory.
My parenting journey is something like a trail run.
As we dusted ourselves off, we finished our trek with an homage to the trail. A turn-around and smile, a deep breath, and a laugh at ourselves as other trail runners gave our dust cloud a wide berth.