Motherhood With Sneakers

I run to be…
This is Mother’s Day weekend and I am running. This is my first step to, what would be realized on mile 3, my humble run.

People ask so often Why do you run? and the answer always comes to me in the moment. After the muscles warm up, the music becomes old and just noise, the mind can open and today my mind flips to the page titled Mother’s Day.

As if the chapter begins with the conversation I had moments before about the stress of this weekend, all the questions flood the pages in my mind. What will we do? How will the kids behave? How much time can I really relax? Is there enough hours in one day to see all the mothers in our lives and still get to the grocery store, load the dishes, and rotate laundry? Do we really have a lacrosse game on Mother’s Day?

A run changes so quickly and so often; one minute the wind is pushing and causing the need to gasp air to breathe and with just a quick turn the same gusts of wind are propelling a runner’s legs through a new PR. A road that seems so narrow and straight can just suddenly twist and bend to reveal rolling hills and trees turning green from a long, brown winter. A runner’s mind can do the same.

She’s a bright, shy student with a witty sarcastic type of humor that reveals itself when she allows. Quite by accident, she once revealed she does not have a mom. A quick story about living with her father and two brothers who eat all of the Oreos and I could see the pain on her face when someone asked What about your mom?

It is no longer the wind that causes me to gasp for air. No longer just sweat that lingers on my cheek. Her face, her sadness morphs to the pains of Auntie.

She’s my best friend, my children’s Auntie and I imagine she’s preparing to shine a smile for the homemade presents, desserts, and sweet kisses from her four beautiful children tomorrow. She always tries not to cry for her fifth child who waits in Heaven to give her the gifts of baby hands on flower pots and all the hugs and kisses she has missed.

Thoughts in my mind rotate like pages flipped by an impatient reader’s hand. They come fast, too fast and I’m gasping for breath.

Another face flashes in my mind. A colleague would not be the right word or title. She’s a friend and a strong, independent woman. She has given so much of herself for her own grown, successful children as well as for her mom especially when her mother fell ill and became dependent upon her until her last days.

And so, I realize, my dad will also feel this pain tomorrow.

My cousin wants to be a mother, but first she must fight for her life and beat the cancer that pains her. Surely, one day, this will be her day too.

As much as the hills in this run challenge my body, these thoughts of sadness overwhelm my mind. I welcome the down hills before me and hope with this change in the run, my mind will let the sadness slip away as my new thoughts of happiness and joy for this special day glide into place.

Roads bend and thoughts turn to my dear friend who lends her ear to me in my time of need for venting, worry, stress and frustration. I hope she finds happiness in her Mother’s Day morning before going to work. I think of her, her wonderful boys, and smile.

I think of all of my friends who are mothers and our joys, sorrows, shining moments, and missteps that we have shared. I am smiling. I can feel the muscles in my face holding my smile.

I know the end of my run is near and I continue to smile wondering what the passing cars must be thinking. Clearly they have not read this magical chapter of mine.

I smile for the husbands who are the ringmasters of Mother’s Day and the dads who must be fathers and mothers to their children.

On the last turn and I can see my car sitting in the parking spot as if waiting for me to slip inside and go home to my children who are anxiously waiting for my return.  

The mile clock stops. 3.46 and today’s journey has come to an end.

Another chapter finished and now I can say

I ran and I am humbled.

Happy Mother’s Day.


  1. Happy Mother's Day! Sounds like an amazing run. I love running! The wind changing, the music blasting, and the stress just melts away more and more after each and every mile.


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