October 26, 2021

Estes: Family bonding

With six kids, it can be hard to find time to do individual activities or have one-on-one talks with them. Usually, when one kid does something, it’s a good bet that at least two others want to join in on the fun, as well.

Typically, I say yes to letting the other kids come along because I don’t want any of them to feel left out. I do strive to find time at least once a week to try, even if it’s just 5 or 10 minutes, to spend alone with each child.

However, I feel like sometimes I don’t get as much time to spend with my oldest, Graham, who is 11 and will be 12 in October, because of everything going on in life and all the kids’ activities.

As he is getting older and about ready to start sixth grade in August, I’m afraid he won’t want to have as much time to hang out or talk with me due to schoolwork, friends, activities and sports. However, I think we have found a shared interest in walking and running 5K races, which is just over 3 miles long.

I used to do 5K races years ago in middle school and high school, but hadn’t done many over the past 15 years, but I decided I would change that this year. Since May, I have done about seven races, with one of them being a 5-mile run. I plan on doing a 5K every week that I can.

Graham has started doing some races with me, and he is the one that pushes me to keep going or run parts of them when I would rather walk. Not only am I thankful for the encouraging push he gives me, but also the happy look he gives me when I finish and beat a previous time from another race.

Plus, when we are fast walking, Graham and I have talks about everything from video games to what book he is reading. I plan to keep doing races with my son as often as possible, for the talks and fun we are able to have.

Ashley Estes

Ashley Estes

Field Editor