Adam and I are very serious about helping Mae discover an identity, something that she really loves. We felt that we had to do a lot of discovery in adulthood that could have been better cultivated in childhood, and we don’t want that for our daughters. Mae loves to paint and draw. So we paint and draw, to the ends of the earth. Well, for the past few months she has been doing these self-starting games about running. She asks me to count her off, one, two, three and on three, she takes off running to the other side of the house only to declare, “I did it!” When we go outside, she begs, “Mom, run with me!” And we run back and forth in front of our house. We go for walks, and she spends most of the time running ahead of me, before getting distracted by a walnut or dog.
My sister-in-law, Stephanie, told me about how when she would run at the track, she would take her kids and some would try to run too, but just go play in the grass, but her daughter, H, would keep pace with her the whole time, and if Mae is really interested in running then that might be the trick. So I put on her tennies and pulled back her hair, and we walked over to the high school. She ran around the track twice, then ran bleachers, then ran the track again, then the other side bleachers. A few times she would stop and breathe hard, but when I would ask if she was tired she would reply, “More running!” It was raining lightly this whole time, and by the end was picking up a lot, so I got her to run out of the track and head home. My Nike app said we did 20 minute miles, and did about a mile and half in total. I got to say, I never had more fun exercising. I was chasing a two-year old around a track! It was fabulous. Mae was thrilled to be able to run as far, long, and fast as she wanted.
I looked into it, and she can join track when she is six years old, which is in four years. I think she will be very prepared for that moment. As long as it makes her happy.