If I could wish for my children to have just two superpowers, I’d wish for gratitude and empathy.
As a foster mother, I know my time with my babies is fleeting. But I also know that the moments we have together are eternal. This means that our family requires an extra ounce of intentionality. Today, I completed a 5K run with my daughter and this one was special.
“For thousands of villagers throughout Burma, running is part of everyday life. Forced from their homes, they flee with the fear of being shot by the Burma Army or maimed by landmines. Let us join together to show that those who have the freedom to run have not forgotten those who have no choice but to run.”-Run for Relief, Chiang Mai
Today, we made history. Today, my baby girl completed her first 5k run. Today, she supported her first cause. Today, she gave up some sleep and paused her morning routine to raise awareness about someone else’s needs. Today, in all her Thai-ness, she was held by her Indian mother as we ran to raise awareness and funds for Internally Displaced People in Myanmar.
Leading up to the run, I pondered on how monumental this moment with my daughter would be. Me and my baby girl were going to wake up at 6am on a Saturday morning, show up and change the world. How incredible that she participated in this run before she could turn ten-months-old. There we were, just a mama wearing her baby. As soon as I started to jog, baby girl fell off to sleep! All those moments I had built up in my head, went poof. It was the cutest sight; me trying to jog while also not interrupting her nap. I was on a mission to teach my baby that every effort counts. That she can fight for justice in little ways and watch the little turn into a lot. I watched her beautiful face snuggled up at my chest and I smiled. I let her sleep. “I’ve got this one, baby girl, but one day you’re going to take the lead! You’re going to change the world.”, I said out loud. I may not be around to see it, but I can feel it in my bones.
We had the choice to run, or not, this morning. A choice that millions of people in Myanmar don’t have. I’m thinking of all the mamas running with their babies at their chests, today. Love is not passive. Love seeks justice. And that’s what I want my baby girl to learn. Whether running, sharing, or donating, we must all do our part. Everything counts. Little by little, a little becomes a lot, they say.
We completed the run and baby girl woke up at the finish line to the voice of people cheering her on. She hasn’t learned to walk just yet, but she took the first step. She showed up, anyway and did her bit. Even in her sleep.
“Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will move mountains.” -N.B.