First of all, after your great grandma died, your Grandpa Wood had a bunch of health issues. And he was in and out of the hospital, but mostly in. Explaining to you why we didn’t think “Grandpa was going to die the way Great Grandma did” was a really hard conversation to have with a 5 year old. You were so worried about that, even your teacher asked me what was going on, because she noticed that you had gotten awfully sensitive.
You and I participated in our first run together. It was called the Color Run and it benefited Habitat for Humanity. It was supposed to be a 5K where at each kilometer they threw a powdered color on you and by the end, you’d be all different colors. Well…it rained…a lot the few days before…and the night before it REALLY stormed and the path was super muddy. We got to the top of the first really muddy part and Miss Catherine and Baby Jack bowed out and I left your scooter with them, because it was clearly not going to work. And you and I started down the hill hand in hand. At this point, it was no longer a run, it was a walk, and a mud walk at that. About 50 feet into it, you said “This is impossible!” And I told you it was NOT impossible, that it was going to be difficult, but you could do it, that you were tough, and I would be right by your side to help you the whole time.
We trudged through ankle deep mud, people were losing shoes, some people dug them out, some people just abandoned them, the color throwers were out of color at every station we passed. We made it to a part in the race where we could cut over and cut some of the race out. I asked you what you wanted to do, knowing full well what I wanted to do. After some discussion about what cutting over meant as far as the length of this journey, you decided it was best to cut it a little shorter if we could.
As soon as we cut over we were faced with a knee deep mud trench, there were at least 3 completely destroyed strollers there. This is the point at which I realized that Catherine had made the right decision to stop when she did. You and I went hand in hand through the mud, we trudged up a 500 yard hill of mud, we didn’t stop when you lost a shoe, other than to dig it out. I lost both of my shoes (I dug them out too), but my feet weren’t liking the rocks in the mud, so we stopped towards the side and haphazardly tried to clean the mud off and put our shoes back on. My encouragement during this part of the trek was “It looks like it will get better when we reach the top of the hill, it’s not too far now.” And after a while you said “You keep saying that you think that’s the top of the hill, but keeps NOT being the TOP!!” We got encouragement from passers by “He’s such a TROOPER!!” They’d say. And you were. I’m proud to say that you didn’t fall down once! And I only took a knee once. And we made it. And I am so proud of you! Not just for finishing it, but also because you didn’t whine or cry, you were tough. And I know now, that I also made the right decision to keep going with you. You said you’d do it again with me if we get the chance, but not if it rains before. I agree, although I’m glad I got to teach you a little something about perseverance.
We made a weekend out of the Color Run and spent a couple nights in a hotel in Austin – we drove by the capitol building, and went and bought a few Austin souvenirs. We stopped to each at a Chick Fil A for dinner, where some bully kid was picking on Jack and you stuck up for him…just when I thought I couldn’t be any prouder of you, you continue to amaze me.
You attended a couple birthday parties this month and we got to see Great Aunt Mary Lou again, she came down for a couple weeks for Great Grandma’s memorial service. You also started T-ball again, and you’re on the Astros again this year, but with a different coach and none of the same players.