Marathon Moms

I’ve been hanging out with a lot of moms lately. It’s one of my favorite things about Fall. I get to speak at various Mom to Mom groups as they start their year. This month I’ve been with moms in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, New Hampshire—and Dublin, Ireland!

No, the moms I met in Dublin weren’t actually in a Mom to Mom group. You guessed it—Woody and I were visiting our daughter. And, of course, our granddaughter :) And it seemed that everywhere we went there were “mums” (as they say) and babies.

Amazing how much moms have in common, isn’t it? Whether we live on Cape Cod or near the White Mountains of New Hampshire or in southeastern Pennsylvania—or Ireland! There are just certain things a mom understands that no one else “gets” in the same way. It’s one of the things I love about Mom to Mom.

While we were in Dublin, there were a number of wonderful moments. We went with Erika and Gabriella to get “Gigi’s” (as they often call her) first haircut. We attended our son-in-law Richie’s graduation from Irish Bible Institute—a great accomplishment and wonderful celebration. We worshipped with one of my favorite congregations—Erika and Richie’s little “Saturday @ Five” community.


But there was one moment that stands out. One moment that captured “the Mom thing” in a unique and memorable way. While we were there, Erika ran the Dublin Half-Marathon. It was a gorgeous day. Perfect weather for running—probably low sixties, slight breeze, a little sun but not too much. Woody and Richie and I had the pleasure not only of watching Erika run but also hanging out with Gabriella for the morning. Actually, Richie did most of it. He carried Gabriela around all morning in the “Baby Bjorn.” And did she ever love it! Being both very social and vey curious, she loved the fact that she had a great view, could wave her “Princess Di” wave to anyone who passed by—and not miss a thing that was going on anywhere.

Though we had both the “buggy” (what the Irish call strollers) and a blanket and toys so she could have a change of scenery if needed, she seemed so happy in her cozy front-carrier that we really never moved her around much.

When Erika came running over to us after crossing the Finish Line, flush with adrenalin and exhaustion and the joy of meeting her goal of under two hours, she was delighted to hear how well Gigi had done in her happy perch. Until, that is, she noticed that the “Baby Bjorn” was a little bit wet. And then she inquired whether we’d given her anything to drink. Or had she had her lunch yet?


OK, here comes the embarrassing truth. While Erika was running a half-marathon, her daughter’s Nana (a mommy herself, no less!), “Farfar” (what the kids call Woody, with a nod to his Swedish heritage), and Daddy (and a really good daddy, I might add) missed the fact that she might be wet, could need a drink, and that it was time for her lunch! When Mommy came back, things shaped up in a hurry, you can be sure.

In our defense, I must say that Gabriella was happy as could be, had had a snack earlier, and seemed content to wait for lunch till Mommy crossed the finish line.

But nonetheless, it was a revealing moment for me. What a marathon moms run every day of their lives! This “mom-job” is never-ending, relentless, 24/7. And despite any help you may or may not get from the rest of your family, it’s Mommy where the buck stops, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the whole family pitching in. I love to see how gracefully both my sons and my son-in-law “co-parent” their children. They do a great job!

It’s just that I want to salute every one of you moms for the amazing role you play in the lives of your kids. It’s worthy of a medal, really. I hope you know how we at Mom to Mom cheer you on, hope to offer you refreshment and encouragement along the way—and salute you for running a most important race!