Around 11AM I decided I better go looking. Not that I needed to, but that I wanted to, and wouldn’t be able to handle waiting the next twenty minutes before he got home. Actually I had no idea. I had no idea how long he would be. He’d left a little after 9 to go run on the bike trail. He gave me a hug and I said, “So…like an hour you think?” and he said probably a little longer than that.

Our kids don’t have smartphones, so I can’t track their locations. I know the other moms do this, so I don’t feel too bad. He brought his regular track phone, but didn’t answer when I called it. I was in the middle of making Ratatouille, with extra hamburger and sausage adjusted from last time. I grabbed a random V8 berry drink from the pantry, figuring at least it’d have calories for him.

My daughter came with me. The bike trail, if you drive there, is only two minutes away. I’d entertained the thought of just driving the van on the trail. They don’t like when you do that, and there are numerous signs marking the prohibition of motor vehicles. “Mom! You can’t do that!” she said, as I’d barely approached the trail. I wasn’t even going to drive on it, but I would have.

“Do you think that’s him?”, we both wondered, as we peered down the miles long straight lined path. She thought she saw a black dot in the distance. “Let’s just walk”, she said, and we started walking toward what we hoped was a runner. I’d been afraid of this, of having to walk and getting too far away from the van. I can walk now, I know this, but it still wasn’t all that long ago when I couldn’t.

It’s hard to say, but I’d guess we walked about a quarter of a mile. Once we confirmed the black dot was actually an 18-year old running in a red sweatshirt and grey pants, we turned around. It was actually quite fun. She was up for an adventure, and I guess I was too. He ran right past us and didn’t say a word. “He’s going to the mile marker”, she said. That’s exactly what he did.

He’d run a little over fourteen miles. Last week he’d been out for a while and run eight, the most he’d ever run at once. “Well, was it awful?” I asked, maybe not quite so dramatically. I guess it wasn’t too bad. He ran all the way to the old high school, to the picnic shelter to get his hat, and then all the way back. I gave him the drink, not sure if he’d like it (he doesn’t like fruit much).

But he drank it and we stood there while he sat for a while. “Was it boring?”, my daughter asked, and he shrugged. “What do you think about that whole time?”, now my turn to wonder. He said something about saying he’s never doing this again, but other than that, I don’t know. My daughter and I decided we needed a better communication system. We’re different, but again, we agreed on something.

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