Monday, 27 June 2011
"You watch John and cook dinner, I'm going for a run" I said as he wheeled into the driveway and he laughed because it was such an improbable thing for me to say.
"A run!" he chuckled, dismounting from his bike and scooping John up in his arms, "Seriously?" But I'd already disappeared to find my trainers before my resolution faded and my energy got lost amidst the daily drama of tea-time.
I jogged out of the garden to the sound of John's squeals and when I reached the bend in the road I paused to watch him chase me down the road, his little arms and legs flailing, but then I rounded the corner and ran.
I ran because it had been a hideous day in the midst of which John had bitten another baby leaving teeth marks either side of her perfect, innocent nose.
I ran because anger, mortification, disappointment, confusion, guilt and shame were jostling for space in my heart and finding it hard to co-habit with the unconditional love that's been dwelling there for so long.
I ran because I felt as though I'd tried as hard as I possibly could try and somehow I'd still managed to fail.
I ran because I needed to escape, I needed to be alone, I needed to find some space, I needed just to be me.
I ran because I'd been walking about at toddler pace for months on end and if I had to amble behind my boy a moment longer or linger beside him for another second I felt that I would scream.
I ran because for the first time in over two years I felt the need to run.
And as the road slipped slowly by beneath my feet I felt the sharp squeeze of a cramp grip my belly, I felt my chest grow tight as my lungs expanded within it, I felt my legs grow heavy and my feet grow hot as they pounded against the road, I heard my own breath rasping from my lips and I began to smile.
And as the summer rain began to fall, making the world smell of fresh hedgerows and warm tarmac, I opened my arms wide, lifted my face to the sky and grinned.
Because in the midst of all the chaos of the day I had seized control. I had run. And at that moment in time it was about the only thing I could do.