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Ultra Sunday

May 24, 2010

On top of the trends, my kids run barefoot.

“Mom, time me,” says Amelia, out of nowhere. I’m pulling errant grass stalks out of a violet patch and she’s decided it’s time for some fartleks.  “I’ll run around this tree 3 times.”

Ready, set, go. I study my watch as if I really timed her, and say, “12 seconds. That’s really fast. Nice job.”

“Mom, I’ll run around it 5 times,” says Ben, suddenly over the futile pursuit of  chopping black ants in half, “But I don’t want you to time me.”

Ready, set, go. “No time,” he reminds me as he takes off. He pants within four steps, imitating exactly what his beloved older sister did. “Wow, five whole times!” I overpraise, “You’re a really good runner!”

Amelia ups the ante: 10. Ben asks what is more than 10. “12,” I say.

“O.k., then I’ll do 12,” he says, unfazed by the challenge, “Time me this time.”

He walks around lap 9, but dutifully starts jogging after a few steps and obeys my command to run as fast as he can for lap 12. “How long?” he asks, truly winded this time.

“84 seconds,” I say. Amelia goes for 15, and breaks the tape in a blazing 74 (not so very carefully timed) seconds.

Amelia fetches some water, and Ben, eager to be as capable as his sister three years older, says, “Now I’ll do 15, mom.”

“I’ll fill up this glass, and get Ben another one,” Amelia says, clearly impressed, “That’s a lot of running.”

He rounds the tree and surrounding flower bed, probably about 35 feet in length for one lap, 15 times. Lots of panting, followed by an overly dramatic dive bomb into the grass. He eventually gets up, and I’m sure he’s done.

“I’ll do 17, Ben. That’s way more than 15,” Amelia responds, as she hands him two full glasses of icy water, one in each hand.

He sips one, then quickly sets them down. “Oh, me too.”

“Then lets do 20,” she says.

“O.k., ” he says, repeating his answer to every request she’s ever made of him. He’s infatuated.

I explain to Ben I’ll count down four full hands to get to 20, and they’re off.

And I sit and slowly fold my fingers down after each lap, wishing I could freeze this moment, this spring afternoon when all that matters is circling a tree again and again.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Rebecca permalink
    May 24, 2010 7:00 am

    Love this. Love it. Treasure these things.

  2. KarenM permalink
    May 24, 2010 7:05 am

    Great, great post, Dimity!

  3. May 24, 2010 7:49 am

    So precious! Sounds like the perfect afternoon 🙂

  4. May 24, 2010 7:51 am

    So sweet! Thanks for sharing.

  5. May 24, 2010 8:07 am

    This is so beautiful.

  6. May 24, 2010 8:32 am

    What a great moment! Kids really help us cherish the little things. I wish at times I could just breathe them in.

  7. May 24, 2010 10:46 am

    Sooo cute!!! Sometimes the simple things in life are truly the best! Those are the times to cherish forever!

  8. Bay permalink
    May 24, 2010 11:38 am

    I miss the kidlings. 😦

  9. May 24, 2010 11:42 am

    How sweet,Dimity! What a beautiful picture and what nice memories…I love when the kiddos get along like that – it’s as if everything is aligned in the universe…hey, I think they might be future running partners!!!! Sweet!

  10. sassy permalink
    May 25, 2010 4:55 pm

    just made me tear up at my desk.


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