Day 25: They Belong to Us For a Moment

They Belong for a Moment

After a 3 1/2 hour car ride yesterday morning back from Michigan, a run was in order. It didn’t need to be long, just a quick, inspirational jaunt through the woods across the street from our home.

The trail starts in a grassy field and gives way to winding through groves of gold. The quiet solitude interrupted only by crunching leaves and breaking twigs.

My six-year-old had been asking to come for awhile and I invited her this time because it would be short and if I ended up walking, it’d be fine. She thought about it and wavered back and forth and decided not to go.

Then she saw me start out and assessed that I wasn’t going very fast and she could keep up. “I want to go!” she shouted into the wind.

“No, Mar, I’ll be back soon! It’ll be quick, I promise.”

I heard some more protests but we were under a little bit of a time crunch to get to a party so I took continued and was greeted by the beautiful landscapes that had beckoned.

photo 2 (1)

photo 1 (1)

When I returned, my daughter met me in the driveway with the illustrated note below. I’ll interpret it for you:

I actually wanted to come. This for real happened. Mom doesn’t know I want to come.

In the bubble of the crying girl: Mom, I want to come.  Mom, mom. 

In the bubble of the running lady: Bye, bye.

I want to come next time.

O.k., break my heart in two. I couldn’t even take it. They say art is a good way for kids to express their feelings—and that was made very apparent here—she was sad I left without her. Even the sun is bummed in her drawing. If celestial beings actually reflected our emotional states, I think the earth would be uninhabitable.

photo (24)

I could feel her obvious pain. There have been many times when I have been forced between two decisions and feeling regret either way seems inevitable. This time, I could let her have a second chance at choosing. Even though we’d be late to our party, I suggested we go do another loop through the woods, this time, together.

We crossed the street, found our trail and I followed her prancing body up and down the path. I wasn’t prepared for the little inner gazelle that was unleashed. She took off at her own pace and didn’t stop. The. Whole. Time. We ended up running over a mile and she loved every minute of it… and she was running at my usual training pace for the entirety of the route.

At one point she said, “You had to leave your running friends in Michigan, so now I’ll be your running friend.” That one statement, a promise of future relationship where we are more equals than trainer-trainee, gave me hope that getting through the little kid years is going to bee worth it.

Here she is huffing it, I couldn’t get a picture of her that wasn’t blurry…

photo 3 (1)

At the end…

photo 4 (1)

And we came home to Judah practicing golf with dad, another promise of future camaraderie.

photo 5

Yesterday’s run ended up being more than beneficial to my health and spirit; it benefited my parenting.

When we’re in the mire of raising little kids, there is so much training, teaching, discipline, limit setting and work to help shape them into what God created them to be. But a time is coming, in the not too distant future, when the benefits of all this work starts to pay off.

The kids that belong to us for a moment, grow into adults in a short span of time, when we’ll set them free. And then all that will belong to us is the memories, and the fruits of our labor. We will grow weary in pouring into them from time to time (or a lot of the time). But sometimes, right in the middle of the weariness, we’ll get a glimpse of the people they’re growing up to be and it keeps us running the distance.


This is day 25 in a #write31days challenge. Links to all the post on belonging can be found here.


  1. Cathy Wheeler says:

    Boy is it ever worth it.
    How great that Mare could express her feelings by writing. I bet a lot of kids could benefit from doing that!
    As usual, its easy to identify with your writing. Put these in a book!

    • I know, her writing conveyed her feelings to me. Right now she wants to be an author and illustrator when she grows up. I can see it!


  1. […] Day 25: They Belong to Us for a Moment […]