Foreword: As you look at the photos in this post, I'd like to highlight two things: 1) William who has his arms high in the air in almost every photo because he was so jazzed to be there; and 2) The durability of our single BOB stroller. With every passing day, I am further convinced that it is, hands down, the best investment we've ever made.
Last night, I was up until past midnight finishing a special project for work.
I didn't think there would be any way we'd make it in to Washington D.C. on time for the Race for the Cure, today.
Also, I've been sick. Really sick. Temperature over 100 sick. So when we set our alarm last night for 5 AM this morning, I told Charlie that if we missed the walk and were only able to participate in the children's events that started later in the morning ... so be it.
What we didn't expect is that the kids would be so pumped that they'd be up and totally dressed, standing in our room barking at us to "GET UP!" by 5:30 this morning. What with their little ear piercing voices shrieking, "We're going to be LATE!!!" we had no choice but to pull ourselves up and quickly bustle out of the house. Within 25 minutes of being stirred from our slumber, we were seated on the metro and arrived at the starting line less than five minutes after the race started.
Thinking for sure that I'd bid my farewell at the start line and reunite with my husband and children once the walk was over, I was pleasantly surprised that we crossed the start line together and then stuck together for the entire three miles.
I give the kids a lot of credit that they actually completed the course.
Notice, I say completed.
Sure, they did some walking.
But mostly rode on their father's shoulders, rode on my shoulders, rode in the stroller, or hung on to my shirttails while loudly moaning, "Are we there yet? How much longer? WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER?"
Children don't seem to possess the same enthusiasm as I that we were walking down the middle of Constitution Avenue with absolutely zero traffic. Apparently, a six-year-old has not yet developed the appreciation that police officers barricade entire city blocks to facilitate an event such as this.
"MOMMMM. Where's the food? I'm STARVING."
My legs hurttttttt.
"DADDDDDD. I have to go POOOP."
Oh, to be young again.
Following our walk, the kids participated in the Kids for the Cure course.
Because we were on the late end starting the walk, we were on the late end finishing. Although, in our defense, it's remarkable that we finished before NEXT Saturday seeing as we had to stop at every other pit stop and several snack carts to buy
rations muffins for our little troops.
I love this picture. It captures the children's personalities so well.
Elizabeth is paying extremely attention to what is being said about the children's race course because she is going to WIN. I'd like to note here that she probably would have won if we'd arrived on time and she raced with the 5-6 year olds as opposed to the 9-10 year olds.
Meanwhile upon hearing what she needs to accomplish, Carolyn looks like she just smelled something bad. "They want us to run how many times? WHY WOULD WE DO THAT?" As for William, he is gazing off in to space, thinking about something abstract and contemplating his future career as a scientist.
The kids took off running and on the first lap, Carolyn was turned around looking at the kids rushing up on her to complete their second lap, when she ran smack dab in to the camera man. William caught sight of the Natural History Museum and stopped cold in his tracks.
Both quickly ducked out of the race.
Meanwhile Elizabeth ripped up the track and finished not too far behind a tall lanky 10-year old boy and shouted, "OH YEAH, BABY!" as she crossed the finish line with her fists pumping the air.
As always, I am so glad that I was out there with the masses because it genuinely does something to my heart to see so many people uniting for a singular cause.
There was more than one time that despite the cheer and festive atmosphere, I could feel hot fat tears rolling down my cheeks as I thought about the loved ones that we've lost. These events are bittersweet because they bring out such a surge of motivation and camaraderie and yet, you are grimly reminded that behind the noise and celebration, there is a devastating disease that needs to be fought and won.
I'm a staunch believer that it's a very good thing for a person's soul to do these events.
I strongly encourage everyone to find an event in your area and get out there and join as a participant, volunteer or bystander that supports the cause. I'm also a staunch believer that participating in these events is a great thing to do with children.
I believe that it exposes them to an important cause, teaches them about compassion, and gives them a sense of what it feels like to be a part of something larger than themselves.
Yes, events like this are a great thing to do with children.
But only if you have a strong back and shoulders.