This morning, The Tim and I, along with Karen and Sebastian, walked in the Philadelphia Race for the Cure. We had the nicest weather, making the walk even more pleasant. With approximately 45,000 people participating, you couldn't power walk, but that's not the point as far as we're concerned, and in the end, you've still covered the same distance, whether you've walked or run, so it's all good.
Having the race on Mother's Day is apparently a Philadelphia tradition (see, it's not always just about cheesesteaks here!), and to be honest, I think it works out pretty well. The weather is generally cooperative, and there are a lot of family groups that walk together. Admittedly, I never used to participate, even though my mother had breast cancer, but after the Great Surgical Extravaganzas of 2004, I figured I should walk, because I can. Whether or not I am a strident activist, I am here partly because other people worked to make it possible. A lot of people in my situation(s) aren't here to be in the race, or to celebrate Mother's Day. Walking 3.1 miles on a sunny spring day with people you love seems almost like cheating ...
But the other thing that I like about the race being on Mother's Day, is that it tempers the whole thing somewhat for me. Yes, there are plenty of mothers in the race, or people walking in memory of their mothers, and certainly everyone there has/had a mother. But it's not about Motherhood, Apple Pie, and the American Way. It's about being together, trying to do some good in the world, and recognizing people who have had to deal with a challenge that they neither wanted nor sought out. Which is, when you think of it, what nearly everyone does in some way, every single day that we get out of bed. It never hurts to be reminded of your place in the universe. And if you can do it while spending a beautiful Sunday morning taking a walk, that is the best gift of all.
Happy Mother's Day to all who celebrate.