I was standing at exchange #8 yesterday, getting ready to run my second portion of the Rainier to Ruston relay, 50 miles with five of my good friends. I had run 4.something miles only an hour and a half prior; I was waiting to run another 3.something as soon as Maggie came in. The sun was out, and while it was a pretty day, running in temps that are pushing 70 can be challenging.
So I stood off to the side, getting my playlist ready to go and soaking in the excitement of all the runners around me. Just as we could see Maggie off in the distance (there she is! She’s almost here!), the song 22 by Taylor Swift popped in to my ears. It had to be a sign.
Remember last weekend, when we sat on my bathroom floor, and you were giving me one of your famous pedicures? You told me you were getting my toes ready for my race. We had music blaring in my bedroom and you were applying layer after layer of multiple bright colors, plus small flower decals and a clear top coat “because Mommy, this will help the colors stay on and not get chipped”. And when the song 22 came on, your new favorite, you started singing while you were painting, and I laughed because the lyrics coming from your mouth just sounded so sweet and funny. (It’s miserable and magical oh yeah…a perfect chorus for running with a neck injury and the beginnings of a blister on your little toe.)
Anyway, you were singing and I was giggling and I promised you that, next week, when I heard this song come on during my run, I would smile and think of you and my pretty, pretty toes.
So you were in my head as I slapped hands with Maggie and took off for 3ish miles in the sun. You were in my head the whole time, really. Sara Bareilles sang about being Brave and the group Fun told me to Carry On. I thought of you clomping around the house in my high heels and turning cartwheels in the living room. I thought of you snuggling up to me in the mornings and riding your bike up ahead of me while I run in the evenings. I thought of everything about you that I absolutely love, your perfect little six year old personality.
Thanks, Zo. You always keep me going, even when you’re not with me.