I slip on my running shoes 20 minutes after finishing dinner with the family. I say I need a run to clear my head. It's been years since Massachusetts has been my official residence but it's always been my first home - and today it was under attack on the most "Massachusetts" of days. The Boston Marathon. Patriots Day. The Red Sox. Maybe I don't say it often but I do miss the hell out of that place.
I want to run because that's what runners do when something horrific happens. Obviously, being on an opposite coast, this isn't about me. But it is still my home and my sport facing tragedy, and some of the people closest to me were in the streets today running and cheering. It still affects me but it is hard to put into words. So, I want to run. You know, a casual run to break from the day.
After posting a near-effortless, fast-for-me, sub-7-minute first mile, I realize, "OK, it's going to be like this." I run hard. I run harder. I push. It makes no sense but I want to feel something. Maybe some pain? Who knows? This isn't a casual run where my mind gets to go blank.
My feet move faster below as my mind races to keep up. Why haven't I kept in better touch with my friends out east? Why haven't we visited more? Why do we get bogged down in the day-to-day minutiae and let days, weeks and months pass without reaching out? I wish I knew.
As a parent, you think about your kids during times of crisis. You want them to be safe. You question the world we live in. I read a lot of Facebook updates and tweets throughout the day wondering about the future of humanity. I don't question it because I never placed my faith in humanity in the people who carried out this cowardly act. My faith in humanity rests with former Patriot Joe Andruzzi carrying an injured person from the chaos at the finish line. It rests with Rich DeSilva, who barely made it through last year's marathon in 90-degree heat, came back this year, raised more than $10,000 for Andruzzi's children's cancer foundation and who had to end his day at the 25.5-mile marker. If I know anything, I know this - Rich's perseverance will have him running a marathon again. This is where our spirit lies.
My faith also rests in the 6-year-old who I'll walk to the bus stop in the morning. Tonight she had a "work night" as she excitedly called it where she banged out her "ch" homework, finished a Rainbow Fairies book and planned to start on her next book report. The future is bright for that kid. I do not worry about the world I'll grow old in with Lucy as part of our next generation.
And, my faith is in Paige, the 3-year-old who has taught me more in these 10 weeks at home than I've learned at any job. This is the truth - we laugh, we cry and navigate every day as only a parent and child can. She's taught me to cherish the time we have together while simultaneously pushing my every button. I've found inspiration in it even if a good chunk of this blog is dedicated to those mind-numbingly crazy moments we all have as parents. But, with her fire, passion and smarts, once again, I do not fear for our future.
My run ends up the hill into our neighborhood. My stomach is in knots. My mind is running at full throttle. I head inside with enough time to be the "closer" at Paige's bedtime after Allison finishes reading a couple of books to her. I sing her some good-night songs and give her an extra butterfly kiss. I get to read Lucy her bedtime books, then tell her a make-believe story as I do every night.
And, tomorrow, I'll wake up thinking of Boston and its incredible people again. And while some lives will never be the same, I know everyone there, including my close friends and family, will come back from this after the mourning process happens for the victims of this tragedy.
I wish I could be there with you but know you are in my thoughts, more than you realize.