Monday, August 31, 2009

For $ale – Used Jogger

It’s the end of an era and I can’t stop thinking about it. No, it’s not the end of summer or Sarah in 3rd grade or even Matt starting full-time preschool. It’s the baby jogger––I am selling it.

The jogger has gathered a few cobwebs this summer but thoughts of an impending sale have me out running with Matt. Pushing a wiggling 4 ½ year old boy is akin to running with a shopping cart (with the milk hopping around). But, while others may be nostalgic about baby clothes or cribs, I’ve realized I am sentimental about running with my children.

A friend once told me my children will have memories of being “whooshed” through their world. She told me this on a February walk with the kids. I don’t remember which child was in the jogger but I remember the snow was slushy.

The story of the jogger really feels like my story of motherhood. It was nearly nine years ago when I zipped 5-week-old Sarah into a snowsuit to run with me. It’d been a difficult birth but I was eager to get back to my design business and running. We both found joy in seeing the creek, bridges, birds, trees, and more in our neighborhood park. A bushy-tailed Sam always ran to the left of the jogger. On Saturdays we three ran with a running club. There was another new mom running with a jogger as well as two other golden retrievers. Life was good in Rolling Meadows, IL.

We then moved to Indianapolis, IN. The roads got bumpy for a while––I lost a friend and my father. I put my business on ice to work 3 days/week in an office. Sarah went in daycare and I ran early in the morning, in the dark, by myself. It took a while for life to even out. It took years before I discovered good routes for running. And just about when Sarah learned to ride her bike beside me on runs, there was 5-week-old Matt. For a long while there were 4 of us––Sarah on the bike, Sam to my left, and Matt in the jogger. I felt like Cecil B. DeMille directing way too many extras but we all had fun and it definitely was good exercise.

Now Sam’s eleven years old, too arthritic to run. Sarah’s way fast on her bike and I expect Matt to be on two wheels soon, too. What can I say? I have Empty Jogger Syndrome.

Like my work, the jogger has been my way to get out the house and join the world. I’ve wanted my children to see that grit and determination don’t have to stop when motherhood starts. I hope they are the kind of people who fight their way up hills––mentally, spiritually and physically––all through their lives. I hope we are always able to run together as a family.

There are not so sentimental aspects to the jogger, too. My doctor says I weigh the exact same as I did before I became pregnant with Sarah. [hmm…tell me why then have I outgrown my first running shorts?].

The jogger won’t fetch much cash, perhaps just enough for a running shirt or two. What else do I need? I have my memories.


amywb said...

I remember well that slushy walk. Hope the jogger finds a good home, with a mama at least half as lovely and gritty as the one whose been pushing it for the last nine years.

Stacy said...

Hold on to it! A fellow blogger may need it next year and may be willing exchange for ample amounts of garden produce. ;)