I just shipped “The Toddler” off to 4th grade.
I know many of you reading have kids, some even already adults with their own children, and I can now, sort of, imagine what it must feel like to look at your grown children. I think about my mom and how it must be almost incomprehensible to not only see me as a 38-year-old woman getting ready to celebrate her 20th high school reunion but to spend time with her grandsons? Two human beings she is partially responsible for but a generation removed.
Everyone has this fleeting feeling of time passing when milestones like the first day of school occur. We are aware it’s happening, but somehow, by being caught up in the minutiae of life we don’t think about it.
I’m watching my boys grow up in real time and I try every day — EVERY day — to look at them, really look at them, and notice the people they are becoming.
For those of you who don’t have kids, I imagine it may be harder to notice the time go by. I think about life without my boys and how unconsciously I was living. I’m sure that’s not true for everyone but as you guys know, having kids was a complete game changer for me in the best possible way.
I’m not a perfect mom by far. I hate throwing birthday parties with themes, I don’t hide elves on shelves at Christmas and I pretty much told my 5-year-old the Easter Bunny didn’t exist. I also let them eat too much candy, I yell WAY too much, and don’t get me started on these chore boards we keep coming up with. Maybe this one will last more than a month.
But you know what? I play. I dance. I make sure to spend time with them every day without distraction even if it’s only 10 minutes. Most importantly, I don’t let the way I feel about my body stop me from experiencing ANYTHING with them — not a darn thing — and that was one of my ultimate goals WAY back when I started this crazy journey (and blog). Before then, how I looked in a bathing suit seemed to be the only thing that mattered. I didn’t like the way I felt in my body and I was just watching the years go by.
Since starting this blog in 2005 I’ve lost weight. I gained weight. I discovered running. I seriously fell in love with fitness and training and being strong. I have continually pushed myself out of my comfort zone and I’ve experienced so much — SO MUCH! My energy level and motivation is at an all-time high and — news flash! — I’m the oldest I’ve ever been.
I feel fantastic and it’s not because I’m the skinniest I can be. Sure, I could cut calories and be really diligent with my food choices all in the name of maintaining a certain size, but I can honestly say my goals have changed over the years. Now (and maybe this shows my age) I want to be the healthiest/fittest/strongest I can be so I can keep up with these boys as they become men.
Never again will I hate myself or my body enough to simply watch the years go by.
Once you make this realization, I don’t think there’s any going back.