I got up this morning, suited up for running, and stealthily (so I thought) slipped out of the bedroom. I headed for my running shoes, looking forward to a couple of miles in the brisk air. For whatever reason, my mind was awake and more static-y than usual for this hour. No good. Needed to run.
But then: a sound of stirring from the baby monitor. Some hovering around the little glowing screen — please go back to sleep, please go back to sleep — confirmed my lil’ munchkin was awake. Not crying, just clearly awake, and crying must be staved off so as not to wake her dad. I am maybe weirdly protective of his sleep.
I went to Caroline, snuggled, changed, fed, played, all the while my mental static getting louder. To soothe myself and to keep baby’s [cheerful] shrieks at bay, I read today’s devotional out loud. It’s about ditching resentment in favor of compassion, forgiveness, and love. Touché. Deep breaths. I felt a little better.
Robin Hood woke up and in the midst of morning talk I accidentally had a mini-meltdown, which he helped me through. Caroline meanwhile was happily playing with her toys and climbing on her papa. Again, I felt a little better.
Robin Hood left for work and I started morning nap proceedings. Except nope, a tiny someone didn’t want to go to sleep. Smiley faces and waving arms and moooore playtime!
I sat there.
I leaned over to pick her up, ready to call it quits, concede to her energy, fine, no nap, I’ll put you back on the floor…then stopped.
I checked the temperature outside. Looked out the window. Cloudy. Almost 50. Negligible wind. Survey says: we are GOING OUT FOR A WALK!
I’m already dressed. I look at the baby. In pajamas and sleep sack. No need to worry about her yanking her socks off! Ha! This is meant to be!! I add a coat and hat to her ensemble and she’s good. She’s looking at me expectantly.
Then I think — why shouldn’t this be a run instead of a walk?
And, people, it happens.
I lace up my running shoes. I take a picture — not that big on run selfies, but shoot, this is a triumph. My smile is through gritted teeth, but Caroline’s needs no coaxing. Maybe the girl has taken a genuine liking to stroller rides. Hopefully.
We start off, me still learning this running stroller business. My form is awkward and my thoughts are jumbled and urgent-seeming.
Caroline sits quietly. She occasionally murmurs to herself. She checks out her surroundings and sometimes her hands. She calls out excitedly to a dog walker. “DAAAAHHH!!!”
I listen to her and keep going, touring around our neighborhood. Someone’s doing yard work and the sharp, gorgeous scent of freshly-cut juniper kicks me in the senses.
I loosen up. I pull off my hat — I overdressed — and my head feels cool, light, and free. Of static. Of everything.
We run for 25 minutes and Caroline seems to enjoy every one of them. When we’re done, she wiggles free of her coat as I’m removing it, ready for the next thing.
I look at her, and she’s the lesson I need this morning. I feel like God gave me this child to teach me to calm the heck down, to chill out. Less worrying. More playing.
I want this lesson to be a lifestyle.