When Time Stands Still

by klassman

Today Esme and I went for a run.  We also ran together on Sunday morning.

Sunday she missed practice with her schoolmates so that we could do something as a family with neighbors.  She is very excited for the coming weekend which will bring her first cross country meet.

Early in the day, we had followed the plan that her coach had emailed.  It included drills, stretches, a long run of nearly a mile and a couple of loops through the woods.  We talked about the wind — Hurricane Sandy had not yet arrived — and breathing deeply to avoid cramps.  We raced up a hill and remarked on how the air smelled like autumn.  Afterward, we stopped for a short recovery drink.  Yes, the chocolate milk people have done well with their marketing.

Today she was game for a run in the rain with temperatures in the low 40s.  After a few minutes of warm up, we tackled the biggest hill in the neighborhood.  It is a quarter of a mile long and probably has a 12-15 percent grade most of the way.  We finished after 1.5 miles and then did drills.

Mark these words.  By this time next year she will be able to take her Papa.  She is small but catlike and bounded up the hill today.  I loved that time together — in the rain, talking about how to lean into the hill, her cheeks flushed.  I already miss the run in the woods — her lavender flower fleece will soon be replaced by something more grown-up.

I followed our run with another 4.1 miles and then took most of the tribe to the new triathlon store in Arlington that has hosted group rides the past couple weekends.  We looked at road bikes for Dana and picked up new sleeves and calf guards by 2xu that were 40 percent off.

To round out the adventure, we stepped across the street to a bookstore to explore.  Tobias had taken charge of the bag with my new purchases and in his excitement at finding so many Star Wars books, left it behind as we departed the bookstore for home.  This oversight was discovered later and he may have been more upset than father.

Thankfully, a quick call to the owners of the tri shop and the bag was recovered.  It is waiting for me the next time I make it in to the store.

As I explained to a saddened four year old that he should not worry, it would all work out, he put it in perspective and in giving me a hug remarked, “It’s okay Papa; they will watch our bag.  They have a nice dog.”

They have a nice dog.  Flushed cheeks.  Stretching together before running down a leaf strewn path.   Chocolate milk with a straw.  These are the moments and the scraps of conversation that I don’t ever want to forget and simply cannot afford to miss.  These are the moments when time stands still.