I have seen them at the local YMCA pool, these healthy and fit mommies, shifting small children from their arms to their back, sometimes treading water, sometimes running slow motion through the whirlpool. Sometimes they treat the toddler to a game of pull-push, pulling the toddler through the water by his arms, and then letting him push off into the water, little toddler hands pushing against mommy hands.
I’ve seen them at the park, these healthy and fit mommies running up the reservoir hill, one child on her back, another alongside. They are running, and the muscles in her calves speak of the many times she has done this. But she smiles, laughs as she encourages the older child beside her, and the younger child on her back squeals in delight.
I’ve seen them climbing trees, strong arms pulling her up alongside middle-school-aged children, and on the climbing wall doing the same. I’ve seen them at the monkey bars following or leading their elementary-aged children one bar at a time.
I’ve read in their blogs about their fun times lifting weights or doing a fitness video, child following along uncomplaining, because fitness time is normal and even fun.
I’ve seen them in the office munching carrots like they did potato chips when they were teenagers, apples or oranges like cookies, and it’s “almost” the same lunch they packed their eight year old.
I’ve seen them in the morning light squeezing in alone time on the pavement, iPod, tennis shoes and the quiet concentration of a mom to herself.
I’ve seen them on their bikes, little ones strapped on a chair at the back, or riding the second wind behind them.
I’ve seen them at parks, their kids on the soccer fields, and they walk the path around the field, happy to get nearly an hour walk in today, not missing a thing on the field.
And when I see them on the path or the sidewalk, pushing a stroller filled with not one, but two small children and the dog at their side, I smile and think this is multi-purposing at its finest. And from my car, I peer through the window as I pass by the running momma, and I am reminded that there Is. No. Excuse.