This weekend was quite an internal debate. I was registered for the 1/2 marathon in Ottawa and I was quite excited about it! I have been training pretty hard to increase my speed and I really wanted to have a good result. I also planned on spending the weekend (Ottawa is 4 hours away) with my cousin and aunt and it was going to be a lot of fun.
Then, there was a problem. In the past few weeks, I have travelled for work, my husband always travels. Our house is in chaos as we undertake the daunting task of packing it and moving to new house in the summer. Our 6 year old son has had a few minor issues at school with attention span and following instructions which often parallels my husbands travel schedule. Our 4 year old daughter has had a terrible flare up of her arthritis - all of which has resulted in a less than mellow environment in our little family of four.
On Thursday when my aunt called to confirm details for the weekend, I found myself not wanting to go. This was a surprise to me because I was really looking forward but in that moment, I just wanted some peace and order. I felt terribly guilty as I was only planning on brining my daughter with me. I thought my son would enjoy a little private time with Daddy for the weekend. However, as I was talking through the plans with my cousin, my son asked if he and Daddy could come too. When I asked him why he looked at me like I might be crazy and said, "Shouldn't we all go together?".
It occured to me then that my weekend would be far better served just hanging out as a family. We had a yard sale Saturday morning and raised several hundred dollars for The Arthritis Society. Last night we hung out with friends and their kids, this morning we all went to play soccer and then this afternoon we went for a bike/run/rollerblade on trails along Lake Ontario. Now my children are in bed and out cold by 8:15 after a busy weekend where we were all together. That is a great feeling!
I may not have done the event but I think I made the right choice. I often tell myself that the benefit of my running on my children is tremendous. They see what it is to be active and competative. They get the "bug" to challenge themselves and they feel good that their Mom runs, plays soccer, plays tennis. They also get a Mom who is more relaxed, in strong physcial condition and gets her healing in running shoes instead of prescription bottles. However, I often forget (or chose to overlook) the disadvantages they have. Sometimes on a Sunday morning, they just want to hang out with me on the couch or go for a walk. They don't want to wait for me to head out for 2 hours. When they come to see me run, they are really only excited for the final 10 minutes and could care less if I run 5k or 25k. I may have to remind myself more often that children are just children. Then it may be easier to catch their cues when they pass them on.