After dinner the other night, when it had cooled down to an inhabitable temperature for mortals here on earth, we walked across the street to our neighborhood park. It has a pool, playground, basketball and tennis courts, a paved jogging loop, and a couple baseball fields.
The kids had a blast climbing and going down slides and digging in the sand. Then Sawyer decided he wanted to run the bases. I "pitched" to him, and then he'd take a "swing" before heading off around the diamond.
Then he wanted me to run too. And so I did. We raced around the bases, with Sage in hot pursuit. Sawyer could not stop laughing, clearly the best sound on the planet.
I wish I could say that this was something that I remember doing with my own parents. But it's not. I can't recall doing physical activities with them - not riding bikes together, not going for walks, and DEFINITELY not running.
My father was 36 and my mother 32 when they had me (I'm the youngest of three). I remember thinking they were "old" parents as most of my friends' parents were significantly younger. It wasn't just the calendar that set them apart.
Both my parents were overweight. Sedentary. My father's horrible eating habits and lifestyle led him to border on obese. It also gave him high blood pressure and diabetes. Thus he emabarked on the slippery slope from which he could never regain his footing. On came the strokes, kidney failure, congestive heart failuer and other issues which eventually killed him. My mother, although still overweight, is fortunately in excellent health aside from arthritis.
I am pushing 39 and am trying to set a good example for my own kids. Sawyer knows that Daddy and Mommy exercise. He joins in when he can, his personal favorite being the stretching portion as he contorts his little body into all kinds of hilarious poses. He also loves running around outside, and, as the little sister, Sage is Monkey See, Monkey Do.
I am very aware that we had our children a little later in life - certainly later than my own parents had us. If Sage is our last child, we will be hovering around 60 when she graduates from college.
My children did not ask for older parents, but that's what they got. I feel like I owe it them to stay active and healthy and fit. To be around as long as possible.
To be able to run the bases some day with my grandchildren..
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