this weekend your father, your brothers and i all stood on the sidelines cheering you on. we sat under a huge sky filled with the most amazing clouds that danced and darted around like something from a cartoon. we watched you awkwardly try to keep up with all the upper classmen. it was a sight. you running through that huge field with hundreds of boys from all over the state. muddy fields.
you don't particularly love running. but you are a dutiful son doing what your parents tell you to do. and this is something we thought would be a worthwhile venture for you.
when i watch you run, although your pace is not fast, your spirit not yet competitive, i see a boy who will someday be a man. a man who will settle and find himself out on a path. a man who will hopefully go out for a run to work out his anger. a man who will choose to lace up his running shoes rather than light up a cigarette or down a glass of whiskey to take the edge off.
|sitting out in a field for 7 hours has its challenges|
like latin and music and science and reading, exercise is another tool, i, your mother wish you to have in your belt as you begin to tinker with the world, your world. and even though i do not run or read latin or play an instrument, i want a bigger, broader, more lavish life for you and when i say lavish i do not mean the louis XIV variety. i mean lavish like huge green fields filled with open spaces to run with a backdrop of hills and trees as far as the eye can see with a sky overhead that is so expansive you wonder how you never noticed it before. that is what i wish for you.
so saturday, i, your mother sat on a tarp looking around at hundreds of people who were mostly runners. all of our faces were chapped by the sun and the wind. and i thought "how did we get here? our boy is in high school!" i watched your team mates tolerate your younger brothers. i held my breath as i used a port-a-potty. and i lost my voice from cheering you on, my faithful, dutiful, adventurous first born. i can only hope you continue on this path that we have set before you. and maybe someday you will choose to run.
even when no one is making you. even when you can't hear people cheering you on.