On Sunday, Paco and I decided that we would go on an outing together.
I would run. He would bike.
We had ambitious of a long one. I was hoping for 9 miles.
Early on, we ran into some issues. The backpack he chose wasn’t so comfortable, so I had to fix that.
Still, it kept interfering.
Then, he elected to ride across the ford in the creek, which made his shoes slippery.
His feet were wet and at one point, he slid off the bike.
He started to cry and said his leg was really hurting. We were nearly 3 miles from home, the NFO was out, and we didn’t really have anyone to call to come pick us up. From a close examination, I didn’t see any external signs of injury.
At this point, I was torn. I really felt the need for a long run. Yes, call me selfish and I was concerned that he wasn’t being “tough enough.”
I asked if we could go farther and he said yes.
Soon thereafter, I noticed another problem. His bike tires weren’t properly inflated, making the ride all the more difficult for him.
After a while, he said he couldn’t bike anymore.
Though I did my best to hide it, I am sure he picked up on my frustration at having the “vision” of the outing ruined. Not really the outing, more like my exercise routine.
He offered to run next to me, but I knew that wouldn’t work, so I stopped.
We started walking in silence. I was wheeling the bike.
Both of us were just trying to deal with our emotions.
It was a really nice day (albeit a bit windy), but we were stewing in our own feelings.
At one point, he turns to me and says, “Abba [Hebrew for dad], I am sorry.”
My heart melted and I felt smaller than my 8 year old.
I immediately turned to him and said, “Paco, you don’t need to apologize for anything. I am the one who should be saying I am sorry. You’re more important than any run and I didn’t make you feel that way.”
From there on, we had a great time, talking about things that we never would have had he been biking and I been running. We both were able to look on the proverbial bright side.
I think every Father wants his Son to grow up to be better than he is.
I am glad that it my boy is on that path.