This morning, I took my 7 year old son running with me for the first time. I’m usually very private and protective of my running. As a busy mom of two young kids, my runs are my only true alone time. I use the time to clear my head, reset my mood, and push myself physically.
But I figured out a compromise – I completed my 3 mile run alone, and then I met my son at the bottom of the driveway. We ran almost a mile together, and then walked and ran the mile back. He ran 3/4 of a mile without stopping, which was pretty good for his first run of any distance. He loves to sprint, but he adapted to pacing himself well.
I loved spending the one-on-one time with him. Running is something on my mental list of things I’d like to share with my children, and I enjoyed sharing my love for running with him. My dad has many interests, and he always shared those interests with my brother and me when we were young. We could try whatever we wanted – some things stuck, and some things didn’t. The best part of trying new things was trying them along with Dad, who fostered a sense of curiosity, self-drive, and life long learning.
Some of the things I’d like to share with my kids are big- how to care for others, how to figure out what you love to do, and how to dream. Some are smaller but still important – how to ride a bike, play cards, or make a hand puppet.
As a writer of children’s books, I feel it is my responsibility and privilege to share these same things with child readers. My challenge is sharing without being preachy or didactic. Children (including mine) can smell a “lesson” coming. It has to be put out there, like cherry to be picked. And then if you can make the cherry seem tantalizing and tasty, they will pluck it and make it their own.