I Hate it When the Kids Know Better than I Do
It was so cold last night–well, cold for our crew, anyway. The temperature hovered around 50, with that oh-so persistent fall wind that cuts right through you, straight to the bone, making you wonder how the end of October got here so quickly. Saoirse and David left for her basketball practice at 4:45, after a ridiculously early dinner, and the littles asked to go outside to play. I said yes, of course, because when your kids actually want to play outside, in the wild, you certainly don’t tell them to sit down and watch some TV instead. (Right?)
But it was cold out. With that wind? Brrr. But they played for almost two hours. They played until the sun disappeared behind the trees and the clouds turned pink and gold and blue in the sunset. They played until their noses were red and fingers were shivering. They were laughing. Laughing almost the whole time, and they were the only kids outside in the neighborhood because did I mention that it was cold?
I want to start running again, and have, a little bit, and by a little bit, I mean I went out for a mile sometime last week. But it’s getting colder now, and I gave up my gym membership last spring, and if I run, it’ll be outside. In the wind. In the cold. I’ve done it before, but I’m old now. (Forty is old. Don’t you tell me it’s not. My knees ache when it rains, y’all. Ache like a creaky old floor if you step on it the wrong way. I always thought people were making that up.) Thin skin doesn’t stand up to the wind as well anymore.
And then I see Quinlan and Cian, red-faced and wiping their noses on the backs of their sleeves (“I just washed that sweatshirt!“), but grinning all the while. And then I look at my running shoes, shoved into The Bin Where Shoes Go to Die, and realize that there’s no excuse. None at all. I’ve friends who run marathons in weather colder than this (good on them, I say, but quietly though, because my mouth is full of all this candy corn I’m eating on the couch). I’ve acquaintances who started exercising again, really exercising–not this once a week flailing about that I’m doing–when they were my age and are now fitness instructors. No excuse.Except this: if I change my habits, who will make sure the rest of the candy corn doesn’t go to waste? I can’t very well give it to the kids. They’re so busy playing outside they refuse to come in for a snack.
I guess it’s not that cold out after all.