Yesterday I bit the bullet. I signed up for the Baltimore Marathon. It’s not a prestigious marathon by any means, but a marathon’s a marathon. Now, I have to do the training. I have some great running buddies here in Maryland. I’m still getting back into condition and my extremely competitive nature makes me get embarrassed if I run with them right now. Thus, I’m hitting the pavement and trails on my own. I don’t mind that at all. I love running by myself. It’s time I have to collect my thoughts and regroup. I also get time to daydream. Pre-Ben, I used to dream about what my kids would be like. Now, I get to dream about what Ben is like and what he’ll become.
One thought I’ve had while running is that a marathon is a cliche, but apt, metaphor for motherhood. In my brief eight months in the Mom Club, I’ve learned that being a mommy is about endurance. You’re the first one up (usually) and the last one to bed. You push through the poopy diapers, runny noses, and vomit even when you’re tired and sick and want nothing more than to sit on the couch and eat Ben and Jerry’s out of the container. There are also times when you have to sprint…like eating or using the bathroom in any capacity. Just like marathoning, mothering is mind over matter. You have to think about the end goal–a wonderful, well-adjusted adult who contributes to the world. Even on Mile 23 when you think you have nothing left and no amount of GU can get you through, you dig deep and you find a new part of yourself. That is something that I have learned from Ben. You find the strength to get out of bed at 2:00, 2:30, 3:00 and 3:30 in the morning to find a lost pacifier . You find the strength to sing “Old MacDonald” for the 1,000th time because it makes your baby happy. You find the strength to clean baby poop off of your own pants after a blow-out. You find it within yourself and you push forward to finish the hour, day, or week. You find it in yourself for love.