With the ladies gone to the grocery store Saturday morning, Thomas and I headed on down the bike path for a quick four mile run. Thomas was aboard his trusty bike and I was trudging along like the typical old man that I am.
I told him he was free to ride on ahead of me but to stay where I could see him as we fuddy duddy fathers tend to get nervous when we can't see our kids. But on this particular run, he rode very close to me. We ended up talking quite a bit and it was pretty cool. You can have some great one on one conversations with your kid when you're out of the house. It's alone time with Dad and they tend to chat more.
We past by one of the lookout points which provides an amazing view of the Adirondacks across the lake. We had stopped here five years earlier, while on another run. I had taken him the jog stroller, just like I use to each Saturday when we lived in Charlotte. The view was so beautiful, so we stopped and I took some pictures. We still have that picture in his room and Thomas commented on saying, "Remember the time we stopped here and took pictures?" I said that I sure did, it was a great day. Sharing memories with your kids is one of my favorite things. I remember them, of course, but when they do and tell the story over and over again, it makes you feel even better knowing that those memories are good for them too.
Of course, whenever we mention the jog stroller, Thomas always repeats another story which I don't like to remember. But I let him go over again in detail, each time he brings it up.
When we lived in Charlotte, each Saturday, I would run anywhere from eight to twenty miles with my running buddies. After Thomas was old enough, I started to taking him with me, in the jog stroller. One weekend, after recovering from one of my assorted knee surgeries, I was only running six miles while the guys were running sixteen miles. So Thomas and I went a little later, by ourselves, and would meet the guys at the end for bagels and coffee, as usual.
But this morning would be different. Along our route, they were building a large addition to the hospital and the sidewalk was barricaded. Now this is the spot that Thomas loved to run his hand across the fence, as it was covered with a green camouflage tape. He just loved the feel of the rippled tape across his hand. Because of the barricade, however, there was only a small patch where he could do so. As we were running, I tried to guide us back over to this spot only to hit a huge bump in the side walk. Thomas was jostled in the jog stroller and started crying. I stopped running and picked him up. He was inconsolable. I felt awful as I had no idea what to do. I set him back into the stroller an we headed back to the Y, where we started all our runs. He was still crying a bit so I placed him back in the van and we headed home, not waiting for the guys.
Arriving home, I explained what happen to Paula. As he still seemed to be in pain, I got him back in the van and took him to the emergency clinic, to get him checked. His pain seemed to involve his hip, so I told them that. They x-rayed it and found nothing broken. We went home and I was frustrated. Any Dad (or Mom) just hates to see their kid in pain. Thomas had only just started walking a few months ago and now he would not walk on his leg. It did not get better all weekend so we took him back to his pediatrician that week. This time, they did the proper x-rays and discovered a small crack in his tibia. As he was young, the doctor told us not to worry and that he would heal fast, not needing a cast.
However, I would have to go back to carrying him everywhere. It was very hard for me to see, as he loved his new found freedom of walking everywhere. Even though it was an accident, I felt terrible. Those few weeks involved a trip to the pumpkin patch and an animal farm, and he couldn't walk around as he loved to do.
Fast forward to a couple weeks later, I walked in the door from work and Paula told me that Thomas had something to show me. He was sitting on the floor in the kitchen and he stood up. He took a couple small steps and kept saying, "Walk, walk, walk." It brought tears to my eyes and still does, each time I think of it.
So this weekend, as Thomas and I ran down the bike path, we shared the story once again, as much as I hate remembering it. I told Thomas how bad I felt that I broke his leg. He told me it was okay. His leg didn't hurt anymore.