In just a few short weeks, on October 4th, I will again be sorting through all the shiny shaved heads of handsome lean men bolting by (already having weeded out the women, whether shaved-headed or otherwise), looking for my beloved. Cate will be searching with me, holding her bells and her sign. Addie will be hitting buttons on her communication device "Go, Daddy! You're winning the race! Run!"
Michael's 3rd entry into the Lakefront Marathon will have him at the starting gate early that Sunday morning. For the 2nd time, he has created a firstgiving page to raise funds for a foundation supporting Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome families. It's called Special Friends. Last year with the help of friends, family, strangers and the William Starck Foundation, Michael was able to raise nearly $11,000. This year he is about to reach $5,000.
Michael runs because he loves to run. He runs because he has discipline, endurance and respect for his own well-being. He runs to set an example for our children - one of a healthy lifestyle, of taking time for oneself, of setting and reaching personal goals, of the satisfaction one gets from pushing oneself. He runs for our Addie who has taught us what strength and power really mean - that they are not external things, but things intrinsic that we are each charged with finding and pulling out of ourselves.
We try hard never to lose sight of how fortunate we are that both of our girls are happy and healthy, that they go to good schools and are taught by teachers who see their value, respect them enough to expect contributions from them, that we have the resources where we live to get programming for Addie to keep her healthy, challenged and progressing. We are lucky that we can take advantage of parent education in the world of disability, that we can give back by supporting other parents locally, by addressing future special needs professionals with our perspective as parents, that we have fulfilling relationships with so many involved in both the worlds we are part of.
So Michael runs for himself, but also for our big RTS family out there. Thank you to all of you who have become involved in his cause through your personal support to him, your spreading the word about his run, your direct contributions to his drive. Thanks to my blogfriends for shouting out about the run, too.
There's still a few weeks left - blast the link out there, talk about it, drop a few bucks in the hat... Do it if you run, if you love Michael, if you love Addie, if you love another RTS darlin', if you love someone else with difference. Michael could not and would not do it if it weren't for all of you. When he sees us at the finish line on the 4th, he will know all of you are present by proxy, too. We rarely do anything without you all in tow.
Michael and Addie upon their return from a 6 mile training run. Addie says "Daddy's number 1!"