Grace in small things

I’m a week away from marathon weekend – an event that has consumed a lot of my plans and thoughts every day for months. If I’m being honest, it’s an event that has consumed my thoughts for a year because this time last year I had my goal race in mind and now I’m making it reality. (And since I’m being honest I should also admit that it’s something that has weighed heavily on my mind since my first marathon in 2011. Think there’s some emotion invested in this race??) This post is a good opportunity to shake off some marathon jitters and focus my energy on something else – even if it is for just a few moments.

This week I found grace in…

  • 20 strong miles beneath brightening blue skies, past blazing fall colors, beside my favorite Lake.
  • Fall colors (yes, again) because they seem particularly bright & beautiful this year.
  • 15423362940_0468d10bfe_o

  • Shirts with thumbholes
  • Honest conversations
  • A night in the city with my favorite person by my side
  • Go, Dog, Go

I just looked at my blog history to link that last point to its story and it appears to not be posted. It must have happened before I started this blog because it’s a really good story that came up in conversation this week: The spring after we moved here I took my children to a Chicago Children’s Theater production of the Dr. Seuss story Go, Dog, Go. (Technically that book is authored by PD Eastman but it’s in the Dr. Seuss collection.) I don’t think it was the first show for the girls but it was for little J who was only two years old. I was afraid he might get antsy and not pay attention but the show was being held in a large circus tent in Grant Park so I figured it was as good a first show as any.

Here we are at the park before the show! (kids ages 9, 7 & 2)
Here we are at the park before the show! (kids ages 8, 6 & 2)

Turns out, J loved the show most of all. We were seated on bleachers around the tent and he stood next to me on the seat to see better. He was as quiet and still as I’d ever seen him. And then he started laughing – those people dressed as colorful dogs just struck him as hilarious. My oldest remembers this clearly as well, J laughed and laughed and laughed – those ridiculously contagious toddler giggles. He laughed so hard his legs grew weak and he could barely stand. He laughed so hard that people all around were craning their necks trying to find the source of such great merriment. Oh… it will always be one of my most favorite memories.

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