When I was six, my parents took up jogging in the summertime. My dad would get up at 6 a.m. to run; my mom would go at 7 a.m. I started jogging too, alternating days with them while my baby sisters slept. I can't remember what we talked about, but it was a special time for me, having one-on-one time with each parent.
When I was in middle school, my friend Amy and I would spend summer afternoons taking walks around my subdivision. (We were very good girls.) We would stretch our legs, gossip about our friends and talk about our families.
When I was a sophomore in college, my friends and I - a mix of girls and boys - would go running at night - 10 p.m. or later - as a study break (my, how my life has changed). We would run in the cold - skidding over ice patches - as we shouted out to one another. We would run north to the Evanston-Wilmette border and then head back to our dorm. I was in the best shape of my life - I met Jeremy soon after, and I always call it the greatest bait-and-switch ever. He thought he was getting involved with a runner.
When I was a twenty-something, my boyfriend-now-husband and I took epic walks. There was the walk of 50 blocks on our first date in New York City that ended with dancing to jazz in the plaza at Lincoln Center; there was the walk through the hills of San Francisco while Jeremy was living there (I was literally so tired afterwards that I fell asleep at a rock concert that night); and there was the walk along the Lake Michigan shoreline from downtown to Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, where Jeremy decided he was going to move back to Chicago for our relationship. That last walk ended with a pitcher of margaritas at El Tapatio.
And now, Jack and I have started our pj walks.
Earlier this week, Jack and I had 30 minutes to go before his bedtime. Jossie was asleep and Jeremy was eating a late dinner. Jack was dancing around, already dressed for bed, and I said, "Let's go for a pj walk."
He looked at me excitedly. He put on his sandals and scrambled into the stroller so I could walk at my own pace (and he's happy to just go along for the ride) and out the door we went.
We talked. I learned more about his day at school than I would ever learn at home - he told me about his friends, the snack they had, and how they did not build a rocket ship out of blocks that day. Sometimes we were quiet (though Jack is never fully quiet - he's always humming or chatting). It's a great way to end the day - the fresh air calms us and it feels good to move.
We've done pj walks all this week. Jossie joined us tonight. It's been good for all of us.