Before I start I just want to say, this is totally going to be a ‘proud mum’ post.
I tend to veer toward the more ‘challenging’ side of parenting when I write, that’s simply because that’s where the funny stuff is.
Aoife reading Dostoyevsky at 6 isn’t funny. It’s just super impressive. She doesn’t really read him. Yet.
So yes, here’s a proud mum moment and I’m not sorry.
This weekend Aoife and her cousins ran the Leeds mini Run for All. They ran it for Ickle Pickles, an organisation who, using donations, provide ventilators, incubators and specialist equipment for babies born needing intensive care and they raised £150.
This alone makes me proud but that wasn’t my proud mum moment.
This isn’t the first ‘official’ run Aoife has done. She did the mini run last year too.
She’s not quite at Forest Gump levels but Aoife loves to run. Rory is a keen runner and, as a daddy’s girl, she aims to emulate him. She enjoys cross country at school, they do Parkrun together and they go on ‘training’ runs.
The nicest thing about it is that Aoife doesn’t do this because she’s trying to impress Rory, she’s doing it because she loves it. It’s just a happy perk that it’s something they can do together.
However, a few months ago Aoife went right off running. For a while we weren’t sure why then she told us that some of the kids at school make fun of the way she runs. So naturally, and unfortunately, she became self conscious. Pair this with
“Some of the girls at school laugh at me because the top of my legs wobble”
and I actually got a bit worried.
She didn’t want to run because her friends took the piss. She was worried about the tops of her legs wobbling. She is 6 for crying out loud! This isn’t the shit she should be worrying about! To be honest, at 6 years old, it’s really quite unnerving that some of the girls find the concept of a wobbly thigh as an anomaly!
Aoife is tall and she has these Bambi like legs that maybe don’t run quite conventionally but they are strong and athletic. Those ‘wobbly’ legs (or ‘thighs’ as their known in real life) get her a 6 minute kilometre when she runs. That might not seem much but think about every adult friend you have who’s going to do a 10k run and hopes to do it in an hour. That’s Aoife’s time. That’s better than I could do.
But the best thing about Aoife’s run is that although some might see it as odd (I don’t see it myself) she runs with joy. Pure, unadulterated joy. Her running gait is an extension of her personality, it’s full of bounce and fun. Hell, her walk isn’t even conventional. She kind of skips everywhere. She’s a blonde bundle of joy, going everywhere with a skip in her step.
After a couple of weeks she started getting back into running. She had taken what people said, it bothered her for a while but then she decided she wasn’t going to let what other people say ruin her fun.
They can do their ‘normal’ running and worrying about wobbles while she just gets on, has fun and gets a medal.
And THAT is why I had such a proud mum moment this weekend.
On Sunday Rory did the 10k Run for All.
Aoife and I went to cheer him on. We stood at the finish line and cheered the British record being broken by the female wheelchair racer Jade Jones. We cheered the first woman coming in, in a phenomenal time. We cheered Rory doing brilliantly and we talked about how one day she would be doing that run with her dad.
I am proud that Aoife has decided she’s actually quite comfortable with herself and doesn’t give a shit about what the other kids say. She’s going to carrying on doing what she loves to do in the way she loves to do it and she’s not going to let anyone drag her down.
She’s 6 years old, showing a strong and determined side with a skip of joy.