Miles and milestones



Jane wants to redecorate her bedroom.

I knew it was coming — sooner of later she’d outgrow the baby pastel yellows and greens, and the butterfly and ladybug border on her walls.

“Mom, it’s kinda, sorta, little kiddish.” she told me sheepishly, not wanting to hurt my feelings. 

Her desire for change is normal. 

After all, she is 8 years old, not a toddler like when we first moved to Colorado more than seven years ago. 

I remember looking at least 20 homes during our house-hunting blitzkrieg, and it was her bedroom, the way it is now, that partly sold me on where we live now. 

I also liked our open floor plan and warm colors.

That’s why I felt sad and wistful when Jane shared this news with me.

It’s the end of an era, just like when she parted with her “My Little Pony” and Disney Princess toys, also not long ago.

Both she and Tarzan are growing up fast.

Sometimes I want to hit the pause button because my heart can’t file the snapshots of them the way they are now quick enough. 

Last night at Tarzan’s Christmas program at his preschool I could barely hold back the tears. In August my caboose kid starts kindergarten. 

How did that happen?

Between the endless miles I log and their childhood milestones time marches on.

It leaves me feeling a little guilty for the moments I wished these days would come soon — like the sleep-deprived nights after Tarzan was born. When he was a baby I remember praying his preschool days would arrive sooner so I could finally get a break.

Well, guess what? I’m living those days now. I can’t say life is easier but it is richer and fuller because I’ve learned to accept him and my life the way it is.

Tarzan was, and is, my full throttle boy. Wanting to rush through his babyhood was futile because you can’t get any portion of them back, even the parts you liked.

I wish I were a better photographer or a scrapbooking mom but I’m not great at either of those. I do the best I can. I keep plastic totes for each of my children. I fill them with pictures and mementos for filing later, and I write notes to fill in gaps where I know my memory will fail.

I’m doing this for them and me, to savor each phase, because I catch myself wanting to fast-forward when I hit a bump in the road, whether it be in my running routine or in my everyday life.

But when I step back from myself I see the truth — even the discomforts are just a phase. Life shifts and turns. Before you know it, you are onto the next portion of the road, and there are lessons to be gleaned if you can learn to live with whatever comes your way.

Last weekend, for example, I did a lot of hill running. Rather than fight it, I went with it for a change. Now I’m actually looking forward to doing more of it.

As for me and Jane, we are planning to go to Home Depot in the coming weeks so she can pick her new room color. I told her we can repaint in the spring or summer when it’s warm again.

It will be a milestone and new beginning for her and me. I can’t wait to see what she picks and how it turns out for us both.

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Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage today: 3; Denver to Boston miles logged: 943; Miles left to go: 827.


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