Conquering Those Hills Together

Running together in the Stud Ironman

Dear Conor,

So here we are.  Middle school is coming to a close and it’s time for both of us to enter the big leagues: you as a High Schooler and me as a Mama of a High Schooler.

Is this really happening already?

Wasn’t it just a couple years ago we brought you home from the hospital in your UCSB infant cap, a few months ago that you cried for me at the gates at preschool, and certainly only weeks ago you had your 5th grade promotion ceremony?

Yet here we are, with your last days of 8th grade inexplicably upon us.  There’s been a lot of “last evers” these past couple weeks that have been hard for me to believe: “Last ever”  Friday Night Lights football game, Rogers band concert, middle school sports’ seasons and dances.  The “last ever” time you will be in a school so close to me–just an arms length away.

Last summer was also your last ever session of Junior Guards and the Stud Iron Man event.  That’s being replaced this summer with Poly sports practices.

The Stud Ironman was amazing–watching you face that challenge and finish strong, AND that you asked me to run it with you.  I will never forget what that meant to me–that even though you are this big, strong independent guy, you wanted your mama to be next to you till the end.

By the way, I love running together (if watching your little speck  get a couple blocks ahead of me and then circle back, counts as “running” together). It does for me. I feel so proud and happy that running is something we can share.

And there’s a lot for us to learn from those runs, isn’t there?  Like when we’re running up those darn hills! That’s when we need to remember to lift our knees, use our core, and really focus on our breath.

Those uphills in running, like uphills in life, are where we need to pull  from deep within, breathe through it, focus on our inner strength and wisdom, and often just tell ourselves  it’s almost over (making sure to take breaks when we need them).  Sometimes that’s all we can do.  That and remembering  there will always be an endpoint.

Because running and life always have downhill times too, when we feel like we are coasting.  Let’s remember to appreciate those times when everything feels easy– to conserve and refuel and rejuvenate for the next big challenge or hill which we know is inevitably coming around the corner.

So I want you to run my Conor–up and down those hills–into high school and this next big transition in your life.  I hope you remember to trust your determination, discipline, confidence, and wisdom, as they will help and guide you through all that you will face.

And from a block or two behind you, I’ll try to do the same.



Mindful Parenting Playlist Song#14 “Where the Streets Have no Name” by U2

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  • vmail svsu

    Thank you for sharing those beautiful moments with sweet Conor with the rest of us.  Love you Shaila, and know that you are an amazing mom for any aged child.xo

  • vmail svsu

    Awe, so sweet Shaila. Good luck with graduation. Take lots of pictures 🙂 Ann

  • vmail svsu

    *sniff* what a lovely letter to write to your oldest. you are an amazing mother, shaila. i can’t wait to hear what adventures await mr conor in the exciting yrs ahead. xo, cari

  • vmail svsu

    Tears in my eyes for this heartfelt lovely letter by a wonderful Mom!  Its been a crazy week for all as I watch my girls finish 1st and 3rd grades.  How can it go so fast and slow at the same time?  Its good to look up and take it all in.  
    Thanks for the reminder to BREATHE…….

  • vmail svsu

    wow, I’m crying too.  Thanks for sharing that with us.  Its wonderful to have that very intimate insight into your relationship with your baby.  Its also a gift to know that we can always run alongside…or closeby…our children if we use the gifts of mindful parenting.  God bless you, my eternal friend.