This One Thing Made My Son’s Day

Last week my son participated in a Fun Run—an annual school fundraiser. Parents were asked to pledge funds in advance—either a flat amount, or a dollar amount for every lap the children ran. Knowing my son was planning to run at least 25 laps, my family played it safe and pledged a flat amount.

This event was scheduled on a Thursday at 10am. Smack dab in the middle of the work day—prime time for getting stuff done while my kid is engaged at school. His teacher sent home several invitations over the course of a month, encouraging parents to attend and cheer the kids on. Honestly, I didn’t take the event seriously. To my son, however, it was a big deal. He talked about the event every day for at least a week. He kept asking me if I was going to go, and I initially told him I wasn’t. Then I saw him practicing—running around the house and trying on the Fun Run gear they sent home for the kids to wear—a shirt, headband, and rubber bracelet. I thought to myself: This is pretty serious.

So I cleared my schedule and attended. It only took two hours out of my day, but to him it meant the world. I cheered for him from the sideline, high-fived him as he ran past, and chatted him up during his water breaks. These pictures say it all. My son was elated. And he hit his running goal of 25 laps.

Clearing my schedule was worth it. My son had his mom present to see him participate in his first running event. I wouldn’t have traded that moment for anything. No mission or cause is worth more than being present with my child.

When was the last time you cleared your schedule for something?