Left in the Dust


This story is really too embarrassing to tell you but it is such a positive story about #1 that I am going to put my pride aside for a minute and do it anyway.

There are few times when you really get a glimpse of who your child is becoming. Like who they are at their core. What makes them tick. What drives them. But when you do get to see it – its really fun.


Number 1 was in a running club at school this past year. The hunky husband runs, a lot and I used to before I had 5 kids. Now, not so much, it just doesn’t work out the same. But anyway, number 1 was really excited about this club and every time she came home husband would quiz her about how far and how fast. Her response always sounded a little slow to me, although it’s always a little hard to decipher their stories at this age. You are never sure if you are getting the end of the story first or the middle was left out. But either way, she didn’t sound like the fastest cheetah in the coalition.

At the end of the session the girls were to run a 5K and parents were encouraged to run with them. This sounded like a good job for the husband but I think he was afraid it would be to slow for him, based on her descriptions of her running. Plus she wore long pants and long sleeve shirts when she went to the running club meetings in the springtime when it was in the 70s. How hard or fast could you be running in that gear?

So he suggested this might be a race I would like to run with her. And I thought that sounded totally do-able for me. I wouldn’t even need to train at all since it sounded like she was going to peter out after about a half of a mile. So I signed myself up with all the confidence in the world that I would cross the finish line with my hair in place and a smile on my face.

DSC_0077 2

Race day comes and we are ready to go. Number 1 is fully decked out in her long yoga pants (a wardrobe staple) and two shirts while I have my running gear on with special moisture wicking fabric to keep me comfortable. I’m going to be just fine, piece of cake. I figure I won’t even be breathing hard.


So we start out, number 1, her friend and me. We are running together and having fun for the first mile. Just when I figure we should start taking walking breaks number 1 takes off. Her friend was starting to tire so I slowed up with her. Number 1 came back. Odd, running backwards in a race, but ok. We reached the halfway mark and number 1 took off again. Figuring she would come back like she did the first few times, I kept the pace. Her friend was really starting to drag. I couldn’t see #1 anymore. I started to panic. What if she didn’t come back, what if she really took off? What if she got lost? Yea, that one went through my head, I know its unlikely in a race with 1500 runners all going the same direction, but I’m a mom. So I did what you would have done, I picked up the pace so I could catch up with her. A mile later, I had not caught her and I was huffing and puffing from the crazy pace I was maintaining. Realizing I was not going to catch her I settled down so I could finish the race, alive.


When I crossed the finish line I saw my daughter standing on the other side of the corral with a drink in one hand and a half-eaten snack in the other. She had beaten me by about 3 minutes. ouch!

I wanted to scold her for leaving me in her wake. I wanted to save face among the other kids. I wanted to make excuses for why I was so far behind her.

Instead I asked her what she was thinking when she took off without a word to us about what she was doing. She replied, “I was trying to get in first place.”

Well, OK then.

I couldn’t say anything after that comment. She saw the goal, she could taste the victory, and she put it all out there trying to reach it. And she did really, really well.

No matter what she was wearing.

I love her fire, determination and drive. It will serve her well in life. And I love to see what’s deep down inside that little heart and mind. It’s beautiful, really beautiful. Keep it up baby girl, keep it up!

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