Brady and I have been running together. I am hoping that we can run a 5k together by the end of the summer. For the first few weeks, he was really into it. He would ask me, in wonderment, “Does this mean that I am training for a 5K?” He liked the idea of it, but he also liked the actual running. Last week, while we were running our mile he said to me, “Thanks for taking the time to run with me Mom.”
Last weekend, I thought it was time to push beyond a mile. We were not ¼ mile from our house when Brady tripped, apparently over his own two feet, and fell, scraping his knee. He bounced right up but told me he did not want to run, he just wanted to walk. I have fallen (twice) before running, so I know it can get to you mentally, make you afraid.
I immediately thought back to when I went horseback riding with my dad’s church when I was maybe 10 years old. Not long into our guided ride, my horse took off from the group. I was inexperienced and had no idea on how to direct a horse. The horse had turned back, and as soon as it saw the barn, it started running. I was bouncing all over the place, my face getting scraped by the low-hanging branches of the trees we were racing through. I managed to stay on the horse until it stopped at the barn, but I was shooken up. When my dad made it back to the barn, he asked me to get back on a horse. He thought it was important that I get right back in the saddle (literally), so that I would not be afraid. I agreed and rode a horse that was led by a man around the stable.
I could tell that Brady was shaken up by his fall, but after walking for awhile, I suggested we run again, hoping that he would regain his confidence. Um, no. He fell again and scraped his elbow and knee. He was bleeding. Seriously, though, what are the odds?
I asked him to run but he wanted to walk and I agreed. When we were a couple of blocks from our house, I suggested that if we ran, we would get home faster. We ran the last 1/10th of a mile without incident.
I took him out again tonight. When we were one block away, he told me he did not want to run and turned back towards the house. I bribed him with the promise of a gift if he would keep running with me. He agreed, but he wanted to hold my hand. Through our 1 ¼ mile run, he held my hand more often than not. He stumbled a couple of times when he was not holding my hand, but he was able to steady himself without falling. We made it back home without a fall and completed our longest run together.
I am confused as to whether I want him to continue running for himself or is it just for me? If he told me he did not want to continue soccer or t-ball, I am pretty sure I would not push him.
I am left wondering where the line is drawn. At what point do you go from being a well-meaning parent trying to teach perseverance and fearlessness to just being an asshole? I am not sure, but I hope that I have not crossed that line; I hope I never cross that line.
And where is the darn manual that these kids are supposed to come with? Seriously, where?