April 12, 2016

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Poetry Friday: While I Was Running, This Happened

So, I decided to try running. Again.

Is it any wonder I did not continue running after this?
Since last year's Warrior Dash, my exercise has been limited to yoga class a couple of times a week. I was mighty flexible, but I put on a few pounds. Which led me to try a TV infomercial exercise program. I ended up with sciatica in my flabby, flexible glutes.

When my 13-year-old wanted to continue running after her track camp (so she'd keep her stamina up for field hockey season), I was all like, "Sure, I'll run with you."

It has taken us the entire summer to work up to a series of eight-minute runs.  I signed us up for a 5K (or 3.1 miles, September 15) to keep us motivated. 

I like running well enough for exercise, though I prefer yoga. What I love about running is the conversations I have with my daughter. Yes, we are now in shape enough to talk while running.

While we were out last weekend, this happened:

It was a lovely morning. I was singing show tunes while running through our neighborhood. My daughter was threatening to run back to the house without me if I did not stop singing.

"Mom, you are so weird," she said.

"Be honest," I said. "Do you really mind? Am I seriously that strange?"

I have frequent Weird Mom moments, such as
last Saturday's fangirl freak-out when I met author
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) at Otakon.
She had to give this some thought before she answered. "It's just that my friends' moms are down to earth," she said. Meaning, they tend to talk about practical things like school, work and home. "I like it that you're so different." Where different = singing show tunes at inappropriate moments, talking about poetry, and occasionally having purple hair.

At age 44, it's nice to have some confirmation -- especially from a middle schooler -- that it's cool to be yourself. And I have running to thank for it.

Here is a running poem, also on the theme of parent-child relationships, from the Poetry Foundation.

The Runner
By Allen Grossman

The man was thinking about his mother
And about the moon.

                             It was a mild night.
He was running under the stars. The moon
Had not risen,

                             but he did not doubt it would
Rise as he ran.

                             Small things crossed the road
Or turned uneasily on it. His mother
Was far away, like a cloud on a mountain

Read the rest at the Poetry Foundation.

A few years ago Runner's World magazine ran an entire article on "The Poetry of Running."

My mother always says that she has her best conversations with my brother in the car. What activity or place brought out the deep talk in you and your parent when you were a child? Or in you and your children now?

Think about it while you visit this week's Poetry Friday offerings. The poetry party is at Tumblr this week. Thanks to Lisa at Steps and Staircases for prompting us all to try something new. Dare to be different, Lisa!


Anonymous said...

Hey Laura! This reminds me of when I used to belly dance. My DD said, "we'll, at least you don't play the accordion like Callie's Mom" more power to weird moms... Run on!

Jennifer Della'Zanna said...

Awesome! I tend to talk to my kids in the car, too...but that's only because I haven't talked either of them into running yet!

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

I love everything this poem says - of running, the love of running, and a mother's love.

Linda B said...

Some day I will send a poem I wrote about this Laura, about those special conversations in the car. I didn't run either, yet I can see it would be the same, something about not looking at each other perhaps. It's a sweet post, so lovely that you are running together, and the lilting of that poem's thoughts is wonderful. Thanks!

Renee LaTulippe said...

What a wonderful mom moment! Being a weird mom is the BEST kind to be, especially if it involves show tunes. I had "weird" parents too, and I'm so glad I did.

Good conversations growing up = around a campfire / on the patio at night. Darkness is good for conversation.

Author Amok said...

Thanks for all of the feedback, everyone. Linda, I'd love to read your poem. I think the car works for the reason you say, and also because there is no escape! Might as well talk. It's great to hear about belly dancing (tried it once, awkward), accordion playing, show-tune singing parents.

Irene Latham said...

How valiant, you running with your daughter. Those conversations are priceless. I can attest to the talk-with-your-son-while-driving thing... takes mine a few miles to open up. Keep going with the wonderful weird!

BJ Lee said...

What a wonderful poem - sort of other-wordly. I'm glad you are able to run and talk at the same time - to have that special conversation time with your daughter.

Amy LV said...

Oh, this made me misty. It also made me think of two poems that I want to share with you - but I have to remember the titles. Ack! Thank goodness for my weird friends... xo, a.

Becky Shillington said...

I enjoyed the running poem! I think I have my best conversations with my boys at night when we read together--they let their guard down a little more then (they are 10). Good luck with the 5k!!

Mary Lee said...

YAY! Good to know you're certified "weird!" I look forward to earning that designation from my new class in a few weeks. Weird is good. Being different is what makes us interesting.

Lisa said...

Thanks, Laura, for this thoughtful post. I think conversations like this happen for me when I'm walking with my child, "out in nature", and at bedtime.

It is wonderful that you've recognized this special time you have with your daughter, through running--and that you're a good sport about it, too. I, too, am one of those "weird" moms--I hope my child will appreciate it when she's older--it may get on her nerves now, but I think it's good to be a different kind of mother : ).

On the theme of running and poetry--Have you or your daughter read Heartbeat by Sharon Creech? I enjoyed that book and suggest you look at it when you have time. I think you will like it too.

Thanks for your kind words and for visiting my space for Poetry Friday.


Heidi Mordhorst said...

"the stone night-scripture of the moon" oh boy. Thanks for leading me to this poem. I will never run with either of my children, I don't think, but Duncan and I talk big ideas and identity over the lunchtime sushi buffet at Hinode, and Daisy saw the real me, who turned out to be cool, when I went to do poetry for all her classmates in 8th grade--enough street cred to get us through high school?

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Haven't you heard? Weird IS the new cool. ;) And deep inside, I bet your daughter (with her artistic photography and other creative tendencies) is probably on her way to becoming a "different" mom herself one day!

Thank you for sharing "The Runner" That last stanza is a killer... in a good way of course.