Friday, December 12, 2008

You Can Quote Me!

Maine Coast Half Marathon (2008)Image by Run to Win via Flickr I know this is a very unusual activity for a teenager, but every day my 14-year-old son sends me what he calls, "A Quote of the Day." I am not sure when it started, but every day, without fail, I find one among my e-mails. Some of my favorites include, "100% of the goals you don't shoot are guaranteed not to go in," by Wayne Gretsky, and "We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today," by Stacia Tauscher.

This week, when I had to take him to the doctor to have a wound painfully lacerated, he sent me this: "A mother knows what a child cannot say." I am not sure where he got it, but I like to believe he wrote it from his heart. Each day, I look forward to my quote of the day and I don't think he knows, but I keep each one, hoping to one day put them into a book for him.

The reason I share this with you is because I think it's another example of the impact we make on our children, whether we think they are watching or not. It's a reminder that they are constantly thinking, listening, analyzing and mimicking us. Even when, as teenagers, they seem to disregard our words or actions, they are lurking and learning. Although I try to remember this every single day, I forget and later question whether I'm raising my children "right," whatever that truly means. Yesterday, I got one of those reminders that my children notice the things I do -- even when they become mundane to me.

I love to run, well I think I've actually learned to love to run. I do it because it gives me energy, helps me to clear my head and allows me to eat Oreo cookies every now and then. It's part of my life and part of my daily routine. I do crazy things with my running. I've completed 16 marathons and countless half marathons. Marathons, for those who do not know, are 26.1 miles with the .1 being the longest distance of the whole race.

Last weekend, I decided to challenge myself and run a half marathon in Memphis, Tennessee, on Saturday morning, get on a plane and on Sunday morning, run a full marathon in West Palm Beach. I know what you're thinking-- that's goofy, crazy, and why would I do it? Happily, I finished all my races and running by noon on Sunday, and spent the afternoon doing holiday activities with my children.

My 9-year-old greeted me at the door to collect my medal, while my 14-year-old compared my times with the rest of the racers online. My other son laid a blanket out on the couch for me, complete with a diet coke on the coffee table, while my other son quickly got to work on his daily e-mail to me.

This is the "Quote of the Day" that I received on Sunday night: "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'" Apparently, my teenager had noticed my weekend feat and created his own quote to signify my accomplishment. Reading it, I realized that my greatest accomplishment of the weekend was not running 39.3 miles in 24 hours in two different cities -- but that I had set an example for my children. They watched me set a goal for myself. They stood by while I struggled to reach it, and later celebrated in my victory. And in the quote I received from my son, they interpreted it all in their own positive way.


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