You may have seen this little girl for a long time in our Village. Her eyes sparkle when she lets loose her great laugh. This is Julia, She's our Instructor Elaine's oldest daughter. The thing is, she's not so little anymore. Wednesday was her last Stroller Strides class before Kindergarten begins next week.
Our focus is often on our moms. We want every mom to not only get a great workout, but feel the love and support from our Village. We celebrate our moms' victories and soothe them after defeats. Babies grab our attention too. We celebrate their arrivals, oogle their cuteness and quickly try to dry their tears.
This post is about the big kids. They are often the unsung heroes of our village. You know them. They're the age 5 and up crowd.
Their chubby legs and drooly smiles peeking out of strollers have been replaced by lanky limbs and loose teeth. They only come to Stroller Strides every so often to relive a little of their past, or because mom made them because she needs a workout. Many of them have been coming to class since they were tiny babies. Their younger siblings still fit nicely in one side of the double jogger. They have to fold themselves over a few times to catch a ride. Sometimes they hide behind electronics or toys. They wait patiently, or impatiently to the side or on the playground for mom to finish up.
Every so often a big kid will take my breath away in class. I will catch one out of the corner of my eye lovingly soothing a fussy baby before finding that iPad again. Sometimes one will relish blowing bubbles to entertain toddlers, if only for a few minutes. I hear them occasionally belt out a line of "Alice the Camel" like they did when they were two. I've seen them roll up mom's mat or return a band to me while mom changes a diaper.
These kids see the hard work their moms do and understand the value placed on fitness. They may not always show it, but the good examples have set in. Lessons they learned from Stroller Strides are ones they will take with them to the classroom as they head back to school this week.
So this one is for the Big Kids. It's for Julia, Monty, Cooper, Christian, Sebastian, Charlotte, Juliana, Guiliana, Walter, Epi, Anna, Livvy, Jolie, Ashley and all the other big kids I'm forgetting because I'm crying writing this right now.
Have a great school year, Big Kids and thanks for being a big part of our Village.