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As I type this, I am dead tired and my legs are sore. It might be the new Shape-ups shoes I’ve been wearing. (This family cannot resist a good gimmick.) But it’s more likely Simon.

A long winter indoors did nothing to dampen his love of running. He was a little slow in March, but now that summer has arrived, he’s getting back into form. The thing is, when he was 21 months old and ran, I could leisurely stroll and keep up. Last summer, I could get away with a brisk walk or slow jog. This summer? I have to run.

A few days ago, we ran at the park. Lap after lap after lap. And then we ran at home in the basement. Lap after lap after lap. And then we ran on the driveway. Lap after lap after lap. I bet I spent two full hours running. My legs felt like I spent two full days running. (Again, in part because Shape-ups are not for running.)

Clever boy that he is, Simon understands how to get around my cries of “I can’t run any more.” He’ll say, “OK, Mommy. Let’s play good trucks.” That’s the game where we run bent over Tonka trucks, pushing them in circles and going “beep, beep” when they pass. If I quit that game, he suggests “Bad Tonka,” a game in which we run bent over Tonka trucks, pushing them in circles until one (Simon’s) crashes into another (mine). And when I finally run the white flag up the pole and say “I can’t do bad Tonka any more,” my loving, sensitive replies, “Ok, Mommy. I chase you! I chase you!”

Not even play-dates help, as only Simon’s friend Baron has a similar interest in running. Leah will run a bit before she moves on. Sophie’s not a big runner. Ruby never wants to run. So we’ll go a park dreaming of watching the kids entertain each other, only to have to go off and run with Simon while his date does something else.

Yesterday offered a bit of a reprieve, as he spent the day at the Whitworths—running with a friend’s grandson and chasing T.J.( nee Kitty Friend). But when he arrived home at 7:30, his heart’s desire was to head directly to the back yard and run laps with me.

Recognizing that most kids love to run more than most adults do, but also recognizing that we are on our third summer of running and that we never see other kids running the way he does, we have to wonder: When does this stop being phase and start becoming part of his nature? Is Simon a born runner, much as he is a born leftie? Only time and my joints will tell!

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