My mother was not a very active or “hands on” type mother. She was always around and would watch from the sidelines as we ran around, rode bikes or played in the waves at the beach. She was born with pretty severe scoliosis. In the 60s (when she was in high school) the standard treatment was a full body cast. Can you imagine going through high school, some of the more emotionally stressful times, in a plaster cast that went from your hips to your neck? My mom couldn’t bear it and convinced my grandmother to forgo treatment.
By the time we were in grade school and active, my mother’s spine was in the form of an S and she had a hunched back. As a child I am sure I had no idea how uncomfortable she was at any given time or whether she wanted to be involved instead of on the sidelines. I just accepted, my mom is a not a doing mom.
I’ve always been active. I was in multiple sports through college and have hiked, biked and run since becoming an adult. I was reflecting back on my childhood and my mother as I was on a training run last week. I took my oldest son and we had some one-on-one time while I ran and he rode his bike around a local nature preserve. It was great to get some time with him, he cherished the attention and I got exercise. I’m sure I never saw my mom run, ever.
The following weekend we were apple picking. It’s become a tradition to visit a small family orchard in our area at least twice a season. My kids love it and I love it. As we were walking through the trees, my son complained about not being able to reach the big apples higher in the tree. So I crouched down and let him get on my shoulders. My husband said laughing, “you’re going to be paying for that tomorrow.” I chuckled and we went on. I eventually had to do the same with the other two children.
While I was sore the next day, it was totally worth it. My mother didn’t have a choice on whether or not she could still pick me up when I was 8 (she couldn’t) or if she could carry me on her shoulders (she couldn’t). I have been blessed with a body that may not be perfect but is healthy and able. I will continue to do whatever I can as long as I physically can simply because I CAN. I have the ability and I am not going to squander it. I will lift and carry my children for as long as time allows because I now understand how special those small and seemingly simple movements really are.