One Hundred Lessons is my story. It’s the heart of my experience in motherhood and all the things, well 100 of the things, I want my children to read and remember. These bits are my hope for the future and my cherished memories of the past. Most of all, they are the beautiful moments of today that I never want us to forget.
You can read all the post from the One Hundred Lessons series here.
Over the last three months we’ve been exercising together. Mama, Jemma and Max – out on the open road or the track, pounding the pavement and running up the miles on our little sticker chart. Almost always, the two of you are excited to go. Jem rallies her coloring or a snack and Max emphatically yells, “Bears? Bears?” because he thinks stroller rides mean we’re heading to Northwest Trek to look for bears. Two year olds and their creative correlations! Regardless, we look for bears on every run, and thankfully, we’ve not seen any around our neighborhood.
When I started running I thought I was doing it for me. To meet a goal, check something off my bucket list, to even lose a few pounds and tone up a bit. The two of you have been on every step of my journey. It’s been fun … hard, but fun, to do this together.
The other week I tried something new. Rather than running, we went to a Fit4Mom class. An hour of cardio and strength training … testing muscles I had yet to discover in my running regimen. And there are many of them! Did you know there is some kind of muscle under your boobs that can feel really sore? Oh, and lunges will make your bum ache! Just a little TMI FYI :)
At one station, all the strollers were lined up along a path and twenty moms or so were in a long line doing squats passing a rubber ball over our heads and then threw our legs. Over and over again with the last person running to the front and starting the passing again. Jemma yelled to me every so often … “Hi, Mom! Good job, Mom! You’re going so fast! Goooooo, Mama!”
I felt like I was back in PE. Doing drills and counting down the minutes until I could rest, relax and get out of sweaty clothes. But this time, this time I had a cheerleader. My cheerleader. Someone who saw me working hard and thought I was awesome. The best.
We wrapped up our drill and returned to our strollers for a jog to our next station. Jemma turned to me as we began rolling and said with every ounce of encouragement she could muster, “Mom, I’m SO PROUD of you!”
It brought tears to my eyes. Because in her, I saw a million little things *I* was so proud of. To hear her speak so clearly when there were days I was worried about her speech development. To see her sitting so sweetly next to her brother, reminding him that I was coming back and he didn’t need to worry; he could just hold her hand while they waited. To know her patience in waiting for our class to be over so she could head to the playground. I was/am/will always be so proud of her.
Every day Jemma blows me away with her wit and charm, her kind words and vivacious spirit. She learns new things and tosses vocabulary and little quips at me like it’s going out of style. Most of all, it’s her thought for others that makes me proud. I’ve never met a more selfless almost four year old. Who gives the last bite of her cookie to her brother? Jemma does. Who decides to buy just one book when her Mimi offers to buy her two because “I’ll just leave that one for another little girl to get”. Jemma again. Who walks into her room and sees some new pictures on the wall and says, “Mama, I just love how you decorated my room for me – thank you!” You guessed it, Jemma.
My Jemma … I’m so proud of you. Always have been, always will be.