Yesterday my girls had a half day. I did not realize this was the case until drop-off when a friend offered to take my younger daughter bowling. I am usually pretty on the ball with this stuff and like to plan something fun for the girls with this extra chunk of time. Yesterday, sadly, I had nothing to offer. Another symptom of PTMD - an inability to think about and/or make non-running related plans for yourself or the rest of your family. I felt pretty guilty that I had nothing for my older daughter and I to do. But, I'm not gonna lie, I was also slightly annoyed that I didn't have the second half of the day to knock some things off my to-do list, including, but not limited to, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Trader Joe's, and Target. Oh yeah, it's as exciting as it sounds. At pick-up, Rosie noticed Grace skipping off with her friend, quickly turned to me and asked, "what are we going to do, mom?". "Ummm, I could REALLY use your help picking out some pillows and lamps" I said, trying to sound overly enthusiastic. As expected, that did not work. "Are you kidding, mom?" she asked. Right. Ok. No lamps. Then, out of the blue she said, "I want to go for a run. But, I want to go by myself." I loved her idea but she's 8, and unless she's running where I can watch her, there is no chance in hell that she can go on a run by herself. I didn't want to burst her bubble so I suggested we go together. Nope. That's not what she wanted. She asked if she could do the smaller loop around our hood, staying on the sidewalk, on her own. I gave this some thought as she does bike around the small loop with her buddies without a parent. At the same time, I was curious why she wanted to go running by herself so badly. "Because I want to know what it's like" she replied when I asked her. I'm pretty sure she was also thinking about how cool it would be to tell her friends that she went on a run by herself, but I kept that to myself.
She does look pretty cool, right?
I told her I had a few things to do and then if she really wanted to go, I'd consider the options. That seemed to suffice for the moment. Thankfully, she was quickly distracted by our neighbors who got home minutes later and jumped on their bikes. Hours later she had totally forgotten about her solo running mission. But, I hadn't. When I run, I am free; if only for a little while. I'm free from my kids and their endless requests. I'm free from myself - my own stress, my issues and my to-do lists. And I am literally FREE - out of the car, away from the house - free. I'm guessing Rosie wanted to feel this freedom in her own way. She doesn't have anything stressing her out at the moment, thank goodness (oh, I know it's coming). But lately, she's been wanting to feel free as an 8 year old can feel it. When she skis, she wants to ride up the chair on her own or with her friends. Just yesterday, she asked if I could pull up to school and drop her off instead of taking her in as I normally do. I get it. When I was a kid I wanted it, too. And perhaps that's why running appealed to me so much when I started doing it in 5th grade. It was a quick and easy outlet to freedom. My parents never really got it. Still, to this day, they don't really get it. But, thankfully, for Rosie, I do.