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Keep Running, Kid. I’ll Be Here

Repost from June 1 2011


_DSC5167I have a hard time looking at these photos.

As a photographer, I’ll hate how I processed them.  But I processed them as quickly as I could so I wouldn’t have to look at them.  I’m a cry baby, so I’m sure I was editing through tears.

As a mother, I hate how the pain is visible on his face.  He never looked at me in any of the photos.  And his normal easy smile was nowhere to be found.  I hate that I can remember him clutching my leg while we walked to his class.  I hate how it reminds me that for about two weeks I had to watch him almost get sick before leaving the house.  Experienced and seasoned Moms told me to be patient.  I knew they were right, but patience and pain are an evil concoction to swallow daily.

And then one a random day, he stopped half-way to the main door and said “I can do it from here”.  I was stunned.  Just the day before, I had to walk him all the way to his classroom.  I practically had to push him into the room.  But on that day, two weeks into Kindergarten, he ran from me.

And he never stopped running.  But he’d always look back and wave at least three times.  If we drove with Becks, he’d ask for me to roll the back window down so he could say good-bye.  He’d blow kisses to both of us and run for the door.  Even on the playground he never stood by the fence which butts up against our yard.  I thought maybe once he was looking for the dog, but he was looking for a basketball that got lost.  He was always running on the playground, never looking for us.

This is the start of him running from us.  In Kindergarten, he was cute doing it.  As he gets older, I realize it won’t be so precious.  Sometimes he’ll be running because he’s angry, testing, or sick of our lectures.  But I’ll always remember they way he ran as a 5 year-old.  His book bag was a little too big and the straps were usually twisted.  He’d run for a couple feet, stop, look back, and wave.  Repeat three times.  Struggle with the heavy door and disappear into a life without me.  A couple hours later he emerged stronger, smarter and more confident.

Keep running, kid.  I’ll be here if you get tired.


Last day of Kindergarten photo