I ran five miles yesterday with #5 (Annie), on a trail not too far from where we live. Annie will be 13 next week and is a very good little runner. We ran a warm-up mile, then a pick-up mile, and then one mile hard (she ran a 7:01, and I just tried to catch her…unsuccessfully). We finished with two easy miles. It was a beautiful spring Saturday and the sky was a true Carolina blue!
When we were having our first children, James was working as an attorney and a client gave him some good parenting advice. He told James that he got his kids hooked on the game of golf when they were young, and when they became teenagers (and he became a little less cool in their eyes) he could still get them out on the golf course with him. That was a guaranteed three to four hours of time together with just his teenagers. Sometimes he would ask them questions, sometimes they would talk about serious subjects, but mostly it was just the natural everyday conversations, and he treasured the time.
While I am no golfer, I see the value in getting your teenagers to talk. I believe teenagers, the outdoors, and exercise is a winning combination. Annie and I didn’t get into any deep conversation on the trail yesterday, but we enjoyed the beautiful day God had given us and each other’s company. I love to run with my kids. I will let my little guys ride alongside on their bikes and I usually have one in the baby jogger. I realize, though, that one-on-one time with the teenagers is hard to come by, so if it can be just us, that’s great. With two in college, I know how very quickly it all goes.