This past weekend our family ran the Des Moines Marathon in Iowa. Oh, the fun! For my husband, it was his tenth state to run a full marathon, part of his quest to achieve his biggest bucket list item of all time – running all 50 states before he kicks it. And for my dear, sweet girl, Eden, she ran her very first 1/2 marathon at eleven. What a moment. I was her side-kick.
On the trail, Eden became known as “Tutu”, the outrageous, ever-so-encouraging, young runner screaming at the top of her lungs – oh, and of course, decked out in her tutu. Each mile marker, she’d throw her arms up and laugh and yell. It was hilarious. At mile seven she looked over in complete exhilaration and said, “Mom, I love this!”
As a parent who takes her role so seriously, I have always wondered if running would be a blessing to my daughter. With an IQ through the roof and an aptitude slanted toward the worrying side, I only imagined that my husband pegged her drug of relief – running. Now, I believe I know. Eden was not only designed to run, she finds a contentment and joy on the trail that few will ever find. She runs with a smile plastered on her beautiful face. She runs as a prisoner set free. Watching her, seeing her so well-received by her tribe, and getting to be a part of her journey has all been surreal.
Every child has passion. Are you, as a parent, looking for it? Search for it. Don’t relent until you know what it is that tells your child that they are good enough, strong enough, and capable enough to persevere and achieve. If you do this, I can assure you that you are giving your child a gift. A gift that will last a lifetime and possibly change the course of his/her life. Passion is just under the surface, but it is usually layered with a tough skin of apathy…because the fear of an unachievable passion lingers. As parents, we can make the impossible possible. We are parents. We own the experience of understanding how to incrementally achieve a goal.
Tutu, you are my smallest hero. Your passion is contagious.
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