Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Family That Walks/Runs together

   At twilight, just before it gets too dark to see, a crazy giggle pierces the quiet. That would be my son. Hubby, Son and I are on our nightly walk and J is excited to be out of the house, having fun. For those who do not know J, he's twenty years old and has moderate to severe autism.
  We've been walking nightly together for several days now. I walk in the mornings alone; a brisk walk that I'm slowly trying to build up in time and distance. At night, the pace is varied but the route has been pretty much the same.
  J isn't a huge fan of exercise so when we first started walking each night, he was angry at the end. Jr, our tom cat, chose to become an outdoor cat that night. But J fairly quickly got used to the routine. He no longer looks longingly at the car when we step out onto the porch each evening. He's ready to get moving.
 J starts out a few steps behind us, because he likes the feeling of independence. Because we live in a fairly safe neighborhood, either Hubby or I walk backwards for a time (the other still faces forward since we're walking on the street) and encourage J to catch up, guiding him back to the grass when needed. All of this causes J to giggle, and he begins to run in his own awkward gait. Just for short bursts that catch him up to us. Lately, though, like last night, the goal of the run is to pass me and catch up with Dad. They are a team, running together and giggling. Sometimes I jog to catch up, too.
It must be a crazy sight sometimes. A man, who has been roped into the walk by his wife and tends to walk faster, yet turns and wagon wheels around his little family or marches backwards to us. A young man with the innocence of a child, hanging back, kicking sand and ant hills then running to catch up. And me. I go at a slightly slower pace at first, do backwards walking for a bit, do a few side steps, and jog for short bursts. The goal of the night time walk isn't to see how far I can go, it's just a time of family togetherness that gets us off of the laptops, burns a little excess energy, and gets us all into the fresh air.
I'm so thankful to God for this spring which has actually been springlike in temperature rather than extended summer so far. I'm also thankful for the bursitis that has sidelined me from other exercise right now. It seems a little strange to say that but since beginning this journey to health, I've been more active. It was the restlessness of not being able to do much else that spurred me to get the guys walking with me at night. Safe neighborhood or not, my eyesight isn't the greatest in the daytime and it can be worse at night, plus I feel safer. Most importantly, we all enjoy this time together.  I hope it continues.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thinking of the song, "A Perfect Day" - this is my favorite version. It's where I first heard it, and nothing can top it. Sounds like a lovely day with your family. No one can touch those memories.