Running buddy

Aug 20

Running buddy



Last night Brad got home in that little window where the girls had just finished eating dinner, and they were not yet prepped for bed.  It’s the point in the day where we are all the most disheveled and the house itself reveals the chaotic, fun comings and goings of the day with it’s piles and messes and trails.  I surveyed the scene, and said to Brad, “So what do you think about me going for a run?”

Brad, God love him, said, “Sure, go for it.”

(Seriously, this man is amazing.)

Maren pops up, “Mooooom, I don’t want you to run!”

“Why not kiddo?  I like to run.”

“I don’t want you to leave me!”

“Well, I’m going to run.  Do you want to go for a run with me?”  I asked this simple question matter-of-factly, not knowing that I tapped something magical in her.

Her whole face lit up and she said, “Yes!”

I shrug, surprised that she wants to come, “Okay, why don’t you go change into some running clothes, and then we’ll go.”

She came down from her room wearing a tank top and capri leggings.  She said with a worried face, “What am I going to wear for shoes?  I don’t have running shoes like you.”

We settle on her playground shoes as the best choice, though they are clearly not running shoes.  After terse negotiations on this topic, we agree that if she likes running, then we will get her some running shoes just like mine.  I’m amazed again when her face lights up with this prospect.  Who knew that she would be into this at age six?

We left Brad and Greta to have some quality time and went outside.  At the end of the driveway I showed her my app that I use to track my runs.  I explain that we will be able to see how far and how fast we run on the map when we’re done.

I let her choose the route and she takes off at a dead sprint for fifty meters.  I jog after her smiling to myself.  I’m thrilled with her motivation and her youthful exuberance.  I’m wanting to not coach, rather to make this a fun run.

I catch up to her and say, “Let’s try to stick together for the next little bit, okay?'”

She’s agreeable to this suggestion, and, I think, is winded enough to think that slower sounds good.  We jog side by side for a few hundred meters.  I grin at my little running buddy to my right.  I think to myself, this is a great moment.  I love this girl to the moon and back.

To be clear, Maren determined the start, the route, and the end of our run.  We completed the circuit–mailbox to mailbox in four minutes and fifty-six seconds.  I find this hilarious.  Maybe on our next run we will break the five minute barrier.

We sat together at the end of the driveway and studied the map of our (very short) run.  Our map showed that we ran a strange figure-eight pattern near the pool and pond.  I don’t think my app is used to such a short route and  erratic pace.  We talked about the sunset, she tried on my sunglasses, and we took a picture together (see picture).


This is why I love being a mom.  There’s this whole little person growing up right in front of me, and I get to have a front row seat to watch her bloom.


  1. Patty Wheeler /

    I love being a mom too…and now grandma! The best job in the world. Those moments are the best. She is getting sooooo big.

  2. Lisa Smith /

    You are my flippin favorite. I love you to pieces. Go Mama Jen.

  3. Sue Nitz /

    Hi Jen. Gosh where has the summer gone! I spent some time this morning catching up with your blog and your life. I love the Greta and the nail polish story. it was so Greta, innocent and just trying to have fun and be like a big girl. You are such an amazing woman and mom. God sure blessed this world when He brought you into it! By the way Happy Belated Birthday!! You have such a flair for getting to the heart of life. So today I will go through my day feeling blessed that our lives have touched. God bless you today and always. Much love to you.

  4. Julie /

    Less than 5 minutes I could have handled that..well maybe 🙂 Love the picture. You are such a loving mom. You are most fortunate to have each other (and Brad and Gretta of course). Have a lovely day Jen.

  5. Peggy /

    After looking at your “selfie”, I can’t help but being transported back in time to when I first met your mother. Surely there must be a picture of the two of you at that same age! Reading about your daily life is such fun. I’ve been lucky enough to have done some fairly momentous things in my life…but mothering, and now grand-mothering, tops the list. I’m glad you feel the same 🙂

  6. What a delightful surprise for you…and Maren! Love that you can share this wonderfully healthy activity. Your allowing her to set the pace in her first experience is so special. And I love the moment captured in your photo!

  7. Denise P. /

    I’m a runner too, thanks to my dad who got me out there in shorty shorts and sweat bands at the age of 4. I know how lucky I am to have grown up with parents giving so many active lifestyle lessons. I can’t wait to start healthy habits with my own (pregnant with my first).