Today marked our second annual participation in the 5 Points of Life Kids Marathon, and it was just as fun and amazing as last year. Let me refresh the basis of this Kids Marathon again...our school (and many of the other schools here) have a "Morning Mile" program taking place each morning. Essentially, a track at the school opens up each morning about 30-45 minutes before school starts where parents can drop their children off early to run or walk until school starts. At our elementary school, the kids get a "foot charm" to add to their appointed silver necklace for every 5 miles they run (or 20 laps around the track). It is a wonderful program of exercise for our children, and they all love the incentive of being able to add "feet" to their necklaces and wear them around their neck during school. (Here is a picture of a "foot necklace". This is one of the girls' friends, who is also a fellow 1st grader. In counting all the feet, she has run 105 miles during the morning mile program since the first of the school year.)
Anyway, the kids are supposed to tally at least 25 miles from the start of the school year from running either at school or home until this point in the year to participate in the Kids Marathon. It is all to promote exercise and health in the lives of our younguns. (While Abby did indeed get more than 25 miles during morning mile, Emma did not...but I enrolled her regardless. She's been begging to do this for a year.) Anyway, this race was 1.2 miles...it is supposed to be the last leg of each kid's "marathon" for the year, as 25 previous miles plus today's 1.2 would equal a full marathon.
The 5 Points of Life Marathon is also a fundraiser for Life South, our local blood bank. In knowing that Nate has a disease where his life will more than likely rely on blood products from others at some point, I try to do everything I can to support our local blood bank by giving blood somewhat regularly and participating in these fundraising activities.
The kids love this race! We always have a really good representation from our school show up, and it is always a blast to get all the Talbot kiddos together before the race. Being around Talbot for almost 2 years now, Emma also has her group of friends. She runs with them during morning mile and hugs them all if she sees them in the halls during our volunteer times...I secretly think they all love her because she is younger and quite a bit smaller than them...a mascot, of sorts. But she loves them all and charms everyone each time she sees them. I have very little worries of her starting at this school in kindy next year.
The big kids did run quite fast to try to get to the front of the line. Emma kept up with them for about 1/4 mile then quickly ran out of steam. She spent the rest of the race running, then walking, then running, walking and complaining of multiple leg, toe and stomach pains the last half of the way. But she ran with gusto once she spotted the finish line, and I am so proud of my girl with the really short legs who finished the race. I am also proud of my sweet oldest who finished quite a ways in front of her sister. This race is quite an accomplishment!
It was a great morning as a family...and our newest temporary family member, Noah. We have had the wonderful privilege of keeping Noah each evening and night for the past couple of weeks while his sister is in the hospital here at Shands. They are from Louisiana, and Abigail (Noah's sister) came to Shands for a gastric pacemaker. Unfortunately, the placement was met with multiple complications, and this dear family has been stuck here for 2 weeks and counting. Noah has been such a blessing, as we have witnessed how God can bless an 11 year old child with amazing resilience and adjustability in difficult circumstances. We have grown to love Noah and his family during these past couple of weeks, and I admit that I will indeed be so sad when he heads home to Louisiana, though the happiness in that will be that his sister is well enough to head home. Thankfully, they will more than likely be back once or twice a year for a while for clinic appts. I know I have said it before, but it is truly exhilarating the people you meet and the relationships you form through a journey that you would have never wished to encounter.