Saturday, June 18, 2011

I ran into my past - literally!

We just returned from my newly anointed teenager's birthday extravaganza.  Nick, now 13, is a baseball player and fan so we took him to a Washington Nationals baseball game on Thursday.  Totally great experience.  We stayed in a hotel in the middle of Downtown DC - two blocks from Chinatown.  Here's our view:

Kids rode the Metro for the first time, a big event as we are from a (fairly) rural but up-and-coming county just West of Richmond.  I love the tranquility of our country-like setting at home but I was a wild woman dancing on the heart beat of our Nation's Capital.  So much action, so much to see, so much moving and shaking nearby.

So, of course I needed to go on a run.  We banished the children (all good swimmers, BTW) to the hotel pool and my husband and I laced up and hit the pulsating pavement.  I just followed letting him navigate traffic lights and Columbus Circle.  We ran through the Capitol grounds (saw Obama's hybrid Suburban sitting out front).

I am hoofing along at a faster clip than usual and saw this:

The Reserve Officer's Association.  BFD, you say.  But I did my internship here 22 summers ago and haven't seen it since.  This internship experience, the summer I lived in DC was hugely significant.  I lived on the campus of American University and Metroed everyday here to perform whatever task Colonel Hart and his staff desired.  Though I've been to DC numerous times, I hadn't really noticed it or looked at it or remembered the summer of 1989 with such clarity until now.  I was lost in the remembering...

That summer I turned 21 and my parents drove all the way from Richmond just to bring me a cake.  They have each since died - way too young - and I miss them so terribly.  I have a million sweet stories about them.  They are the best teachers I will ever have.  (No offense, Col. Hart).  Memories of that summer swam through my veins and I am so grateful  I remembered a young student on the cusp of womanhood ready to blaze trails.  I became inspired that it's NEVER TOO LATE.  Here I am today.
Still wanting to walk (or run or bike) new paths.  Things are different now .  A lot of Life happens in 22 years but we can navigate our current landscape as long as we believe we can. 
I ran into my past and it made me excited about my future.
I hope that happens for you.
Here's my new teenager:
My (almost) 8 year old who shares my birthday.

My 11-year-old was at a softball tournament.  We missed you Kathleen!

My lesson:
Run to your past.  Make peace.
Look ahead.  It's never too late!
BTW, the Nationals won.
What did you do this week?


shut up and run through d.c. said...

I think I know you so well then you go and tell me about a summer in DC when you were 21 that I did not know about. I was there too. You should not hide things from me like that.

Sounds like a wonderful and inspiring time. Running through DC is one of the things I HTDBID (have to do before I die).

XLMIC said...

Wow! How fun! And so cool to have a baby born on your birthday :) I always wanted that! This week I survived the first week of summer vacation with all 4 kids at home... no camps, no playdates. And we are all still alive. Woo hoo.