4.30.2014

Blinging Out my Legacy

Occasionally crafty mothering.
During the Sochi Olympics, I pulled out a crappy generic race medal I had and transformed it into a faux-Olympic medal for Merrick's kickass "Dress Like an Olympian Day" outfit I created for school. Rarely do I resemble one of those overachieving crafty moms, but if it involves a special outfit, I'm like a member of the A-Team for costume creators. I may fail him as the perfect mother he expects, but I will never fail him when it comes to dressing up in character.

Anyway, I'm not a huge runner of races, primarily because getting up super early to run with masses of people during typically cold hours lacks appeal to me. Especially considering I have to pay, use port-a-potty and they don't have gluten-free beer waiting for me at the end. But I have run a few, and I do have some medals stuffed away in a drawer.

As Merrick was admiring the medal I planned to use, he said: "Mom, you haven't run any races since you got sick, have you?"

Of course I hadn't. I hadn't run much at all. To think that there was that dividing line in his little mind - the before and after when it comes to my cancer. I realized then what that medal meant to a 6-year-old; to my 6-year-old, and it ignited a small fire in me.

And I must get morbid for a few paragraphs, so bear with me. As I spent those 5 uninterrupted minutes reflecting on race medals and Merrick, I thought about the powerful message they send to that innocent little kid. I could see he had a clear division in his head of before and after I got sick. Before I was sick I ran with him in a jogger, ran races and "won" these amazing medals. Now I'm just an uninspiring gym rat who clearly doesn't impress small children on her Spin bike. And my ability to stay on the elliptical for an entire hour of The Real Housewives of any city means nothing to him.

My legacy was now this tangible thing (race medals) that I think can be a future reminder to him of what his mom was capable of despite being sick.

What if I'm not here in 10 years when he's struggling through those teenage years? What if I can provide him with these shinny objects to look at and remind him of the small successes his mom had despite the evil opposition?

So I've decided to change my tune (and my morning attitude) and run for that race bling; to drink my coffee and go work on the physical legacy I can leave for him if the need arises. I want to give him a visual reminder of what I was able to do, so he can always know that you can overcome despite adversity - even if I'm not here to tell him.

And it helps that I feel even slightly victorious over cancer when I can use those lungs for something mighty, despite what's growing inside of them.

I've got 2 5Ks in the next few weeks. The upcoming Get Your Rear in Gear, and a virtual 5K that plucks at my geeky heart strings AND helps the cancer cause. And I think the race bling will make his nerdy little heart happy. Not sure what the summer will hold as I dive deep into the potent stuff again, but I'm on a mission that hopefully will never achieve its purpose.
Dress like an Olympian he did.

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