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Growing a Fit Child: It’s Graduation Day

Alexandra Williams, MA

Our friend MizFit (Carla) had a post recently about waiting at the bus stop so she could wave good-bye a second time to her daughter. That got me to thinking about my eldest child and how I used to wave good-bye to him at the bus stop, back when we lived in Oregon.

Now he’s graduating from high school, with plans to move across the country to go to a university that has 22 science majors for him to choose from. I put him on that bus 13 years ago to start him on the journey to get him prepared for now. I cried a little back then because he looked so small inside that big bus. And I will cry at his ceremony because he looks so big.
In between my crying jags, I hope I’ve taught him how to live a healthy, rewarding life that’s full of purpose and joy. Those of you who are parents will have your own definition of what that means, but the things I can point to include:

* He doesn’t drink soda, and he knows the difference between healthful and unhealthful foods
* He gets plenty of sleep (boy, does he like to sleep)
* He knows how to make people laugh, which will help him in work and social situations
* He knows how to be a good host to guests, and has excellent manners
* He believes exercise is part of life; it just is
* He is becoming more confident about taking risks
* He has seen me act like a dork in public (a lot) and it’s now somewhere inside his brain that you don’t need to wait around for approval; you have to approve of yourself
* He knows the value of money, how it works, what it can (and cannot) do
* He drives safely (I believe) and wears a seat belt
* He is beginning to appreciate his younger brother for what he can do, rather than railing against what he cannot
* He can be trusted with money (although he can’t ever seem to find his own iPod cord)
* He eats when he’s hungry, not because he’s lonely or bored or because it’s there
* He writes thank you notes and is gracious
* He chooses friends wisely

Hmmm, I’m his mom so I could make a really long list. But my son isn’t a list; he’s so much more, just as your children are more than you imagined and hoped for! And no matter how much I exercise and make my heart strong, it will never be big enough to hold all the love I have for him.

I”m going to share a cute story that demonstrates that he “gets” how nutrition works. When we moved to Santa Barbara to be nearer my sister, he was 12. Kymberly took him to the grocery store with her. When they came back with bags full of prepackaged, processed food (she’s not like that anymore), he turned to me and said, “Mom, I love shopping with Auntie Kym. She buys food. You buy ingredients.” I laughed so hard and still smile whenever I think of that.

Earlier this week, my son gave me a gift – he came to my kickbox step class and brought his girlfriend. He knows I love exercise. He knows I love teaching. He knows I’ve wanted him to come to a class so I could show him off. I love having a job where my kid can come.

I haven’t named him here because I am a protective person about his identity, but you get to admire his massive handsomeness (all from me, of course, even though he looks just like his dad) in these photos.

I’m proud of the fact that I’ve taught my kids the link between health and happiness. I’m happy my son is moving on to start the next phase of his life. I’m sad that my son is moving on to start the next phase of his life. And I guess that’s how it’s supposed to be.

What are the things your children do that make you proud?

Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for writing about my kid, unless you count 18 years of having him around!
His cute tux is a rental. My cute outfit is from Aventura Clothing. And thanks to my sister, who let me take over our blog so I could write this.

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20 Responses to Growing a Fit Child: It’s Graduation Day

  1. MizFit June 7, 2012 at 7:15 am #

    (yay. got.in!! :-))

    Nary a word…..merely sniffles.
    MizFit recently posted..Question: Praying for what we dont want!My Profile

  2. Jody - Fit at 54 June 7, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    You should be proud! What a wonderful post & the love! :-)
    Jody – Fit at 54 recently posted..Progress Pics & Champion BrasMy Profile

  3. Tara Burner June 7, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww and what a handsome young man!!!!
    and how adorable of him to come to your class!!!

    hmmm my daughters never been on a bus and my son didnt ride one til 11th grade! LOL
    mom taxi to/from school here :)
    Tara Burner recently posted..Affirmations For Eating Healthy, Eating WellMy Profile

  4. KymberlyFunFit June 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    For the record, he still loves his Auntie Kym or else!
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted..Working Obliques: Right and Wrong WayMy Profile

  5. Tamara June 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    You should be very, very proud of yourself! I only hope that I can do half as good a job with my kids as you’ve done with yours!
    (I shed a few tears reading your post)
    xoxo
    Tamara recently posted..Suffer from joint pain or osteoarthritis? Find relief with MicrolactinMy Profile

    • AlexandraFunFit June 8, 2012 at 11:51 am #

      Oddly enough, it never occurred to me to be proud of myself, but since you bring it up, I do feel glad that we taught him to be honest and compassionate.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Resistance Tube WorkoutMy Profile

  6. Teresa June 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    I loved what you have shared today. My children are 5.5 years and 9 years old. They are my life’s work and I can only hope what choices I have made (the positive ones especially) can be a reflection upon their health & wellness. Life is an unraveling cord that I sometimes have a hold of and most of the times do not! i hope to be able to make a list like yours as my oldest turns 18 years old. I can already say many of the things you have listed, but I hope to watch him grow into a man of this world who possesses humor, kindness, compassion, gratitude, etc etc. :) Thanks again!

    • AlexandraFunFit June 8, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      Your list will be long, Teresa; you’ll see. And kids really do watch what their parents do, far more than what they say. He knows I return found money so he returns found money. He knows I stick up for myself (especially with the truly evil Verizon) so he sticks up for himself. Best of all, he negotiated down the price of his car because he watched me do it for mine. So I am sure you’re on the exact right path!
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Post-Workout Protein: Soy RevisitedMy Profile

  7. John Poole June 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful son. And he is truly blessed to have you for a mother. So congratulations to Miles on his graduation day, and congratulations to you, Alexandra, for raising such a terrific young man!

    • AlexandraFunFit June 8, 2012 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks, John. I found out he forwarded this post to some of his friends, including his girlfriend, so I guess he liked the post.
      AlexandraFunFit recently posted..Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks?My Profile

  8. Nora DePalma June 8, 2012 at 5:51 am #

    Oh….getting all misty. Congrats to a wonderful mom and son!

  9. Fred Hoffman June 8, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    In a nutshell… I LOVE THIS…. it is just a wonderful piece of writing and a beautiful message to everyone! Congrats on a job well-done…
    And you look GREAT btw…

    Bisous,
    Fred
    Fred Hoffman recently posted..Chip Chips Chooray! Product ReviewMy Profile

  10. Maureen June 8, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    What a wonderful piece. Congratulations to Miles–and to Zann and David who contributed to making him the super person that he is. I speak without bias. His Popsy agrees with every word.

    Love,
    Moe-Mom
    Maureen recently posted..Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks?My Profile

  11. Popsy/ Dadsy June 8, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    What a great testimonial to you all. You now sense the pride and other emotions which I felt as you all grew up and your lives took you to such amazing places….. I could not be more proud of you for being such special parents and having raised such wonderful and handsome children…..

    Love, always,

    Dadzy
    Popsy/ Dadsy recently posted..Be Heart HealthyMy Profile

  12. Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run June 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    A huge congratulations to your son AND you for all that he has accomplished! Children and their personalities, morals, ethics, EVERYTHING speak WORDS of their parents, and you should be proud. :)

    I have two girls…Hannah’s 5 and Madelyn’s going to be 3 next month. They’re bright. They’re polite. They’re kind, bubbly, and extremely creative. And they FLOOR me with their intelligence and gumption. There’s never a day that passes by that I’m not reminded of just how proud I am of them.
    Melissa @ Live, Love, & Run recently posted..How To Successfully Set GoalsMy Profile

  13. Dr. Lynn K. Jones June 10, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    What a sweet article. I’m sure he was touched deeply and obviously all of your hard work as a great mother paid off!
    Dr. Lynn K. Jones recently posted..Faking Your Way to SuccessMy Profile

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