The Run or Dye event in Salisbury was a fun experience last weekend.
Rather than it actually being a 5K, it was more like a 1K for Beckett and I, while Pam and her crew left us in the dust and actually ran the distance. Carson had to sit this one out because he was sick. That was probably a good thing. If the boys held the man-up advantage over me, it would have probably turned into a quarter of a K.
I never had any prior aspirations that Beckett would be able to complete the 3.1 miles, running or walking. There is no question he has the stamina to walk/run three miles. It was the boredom factor that would get the best of him I knew, even with the dye stations along the way.
After he learned there were no more dye stations beyond a certain point, about a half mile into the course, he lost interest and started to complain about being tired. In other words, he was getting bored and restless.
Fittingly enough, he spotted a nice playground by a church just off the course, and I was fine with a little break from the constant whining because it was meant to be fun. It was anything but that amid calls to be picked up and questions about why anyone would want to run or walk this far for fun. At one point, he muttered, “this is certainly not fun with a capital ‘F’.”
So there we were covered in pink and blue dye swinging on a playground watching the runners and walkers make their way through the course. After about 15 minutes, aided by the sight of his mom and her crew running by, I was able to convince him it was time to get back on the course and finish the thing.
We did so, but I had to be creative to keep him moving at a good clip. That’s when we started kicking multiple water bottles, discarded by runners, along the route back.
The highlight of the entire adventure for him was without question getting covered with the dye and particularly throwing the dye on the runners and walkers as they went by.
A highlight for me was putting him on my shoulders after the race and making our way to the front of the stage area, where men were using leaf blowers to cover the crowd in dye and throwing out free stuff.
A friend snapped a photo of Beckett on my shoulders embracing the cloud of dye coming his way. It was like a scene from a rock concert. That’s a good keepsake.
That was the answer I received from a friend with grown kids to this question: When do you stop worrying constantly about your kids?
His kids are 28 and 24 years old and have moved away from the area. They both graduated locally and went to college and never returned after getting full-time jobs. One has a family of his own, making my friend a grandparent, and each have successful livelihoods.
Despite their well beings appearing secure, he said the feeling of concern for your kids persists no matter their age. He admitted that the worrying takes various different forms over the years as your kids grow up. Instead of freaking out over whether your 4-year-old will ever master potty training and why your 6-year-old insists on calling everyone “dude,” new stages in life bring new concerns.
The frets evolve for the parents as the kids grow into teen-agers, college-aged kids and adults. The common denominator he advised was you never stop worrying. As the kids get older, he said you lose a certain sense of control over your kids, and you just have to trust they will use good judgment. He said that comes with great apprehension. I get that entirely.
While both my boys have periods when my wife and I think they are hard of hearing, due to the non-listening, we are typically able to exert our will over them and make them do what we want. That changes over time drastically and I’m not excited to deal with that anxiety.
After this conversation, I’m debating whether I should go ahead and cut all my hair off. I figured it deserves consideration because it’s already rapidly changing colors and over the last year or so I have been astounded as to what is happening to my hairline.
It’s racing away from my forehead with reckless abandon. It seems to fueled by anxiety. Now whenever I run my hands through my hair in a fit of aggravation over Carson throwing a block straight at the television or Beckett screaming due to a lack of patience over a Lego set, I’m sure to do it in a much more gentle fashion so as not to speed the process along any faster than these two boys are already doing on their own.
Beckett turned 6 years old on Monday.
A birthday at this age is a big deal, and I personally like that there is a lot of fuss made about it. As a matter of fact, by the time the actual birthday rolled around on Monday, it was actually anti-climactic. There had already been so many events to mark the occasion.
Beckett spent Sunday doing what he loves to do — running around. He performed about 100 cannonballs in our pool, jumped hundreds of times on his new in-ground trampoline and played with his other favorite gifts.
It was a fun day for him and fortunately there were no trips to the ER, like there was the day he turned 3 years old.