He marathons, I spectate, as it was and as it will be.

[Content Note: Terrorism; violence; injury.]

On the slab of grey concrete in our garage sit Aaron's pinkish red running shoes with yellow interior. Next to them, on the right,  are our son's shoes as he set them down, the left on the right side, the right on the left, right next to his father's shoes.

Aaron’s shoes on the left, our son’s shoes on the right exactly as our son set them down.

I wrote a piece today at Shakesville about about what being a spectator at marathons has meant to me, what is has been like, and why I will continue to watch them from the sidelines. An excerpt (FYI: Aaron is my husband and has run 14 marathons so far, 11 of which I have been at):

I have taken our son with me to cheer on his father at the finish line. In St. Paul one year, as Aaron was just making it in under the cut off for the Boston Marathon qualifying time, I put my toddler on my shoulders so he could see over the crowds. As I began to jump and cheer for Aaron, our son began to cry and freak out. I had scared him with my jubilation.

Yesterday at Boston, a family of five was standing at the finish line, probably cheering, clapping, holding signs, and smiling. They were waiting for their friends to cross the finish line. The explosion killed Martin Richard, an 8 year old in the group. His mother has suffered a brain injury and his sister reportedly lost her leg. His father and brother were uninjured in the blast. Two others died in the attack, another 170 wounded, many severely. […]

For the rest of our lives, as we travel to marathons, we will think of Martin and his family, of everyone hurt and killed. We will never move past or forget the horror of yesterday.

But we will be in marathons and on the sidelines. Aaron will continue participating in the sport that has given him so much and at which he is very good. And I will continue to attend because it is a rush and thrill to watch so many people conquer such an amazing physical feat. There is little that gives me greater joy than seeing the person I love so deeply do something that he loves so much. He marathons, I spectate, as it was and as it will be.