Do you see a difference between these two photos? They both appear to be the same: me running while pushing the jogging stroller (with two kids in it) and the eldest kid riding her bike up ahead, on a beautiful day in a beautiful setting.
WRONG! Well, almost. Both photos were taken at an idyllic moment, but the photo on the left turned out to be a “run from hell” while the photo on the right remained a wonderful time for all.
You see, the first photo was the first run/bike of the week, in a canyon that had a slight incline that I was unaware of. I really thought that my difficulty in pushing the stroller was just my out-of-shape body, especially because it seemed the 6-year-0ld had no problems biking up ahead. But when we turned around, because of my desperation, I suddenly discovered that I could run with ease (being downhill now) and that the 6-year-old was not at all ready for riding her bike down any hill, no matter how gentle the slope. She started crying and complaining about not getting to ride in the stroller. I alternated between running a little bit, and then parking the stroller and helping bring the bike back down. She was still crying by the time we made it back to the car, now with an audience of other bikers and hikers. I am glad that I am at the point in parenthood where I do not get embarrassed about my kids’ behavior in public. It doesn’t stress me out, I just chuckle silently to myself about my predicament and resolve it as best as I can. Those years with child#2 as a toddler have really trained me well!
The second photo (right) was taken a few days later, when we went to a park with a FLAT running track. I tired out sooner than the 6-year-old, but was worried about pushing my luck (with the 6-year-old, and a little bit with myself), so I kept the run to under 15 minutes. When we finished, she did make a complaint about not getting to ride the stroller, but I just reminded her how much she loves to ride her bike. Then we went to the pond in the park and spotted goslings as well as ducklings. So cute! First time the girls got to see goslings. It was a great start to the day!