My strong-willed child, I’m always chasing you. But sometimes my legs get tired.

Because it’s hard playing a game of chase all day long.

I chase you as you run to the closet to pick out your outfit for the day. You like to pick your outfit out yourself, and your style is uniquely you. You pick out rainbow shorts and a rainbow shirt impervious to my opinion. And you’re going to shine bright, which is no surprise to me.

Because you’re the brightest star in my orbit, you make yourself known.

I chase you on your scooter down the street. You have no fear as you glide down a big hill—and it frightens me.

I run fast, breathing steadily, the paws of a lioness after her fast-moving cub.

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With each footfall, a jarring pain shoots through my ankles to my knees to my heart.

Because my heartbeat will never be steady in our encounters, but the rhythm of my soul will be—because with your heartbeat, I can be anything.

Because that’s what you do to me.   

With you, my strong-willed child, there’s an explosion in your brain . . . a type of explosion that carries endless possibilities that would likely send fear through most.

But you feel the adventure calling and you thrive in it because that’s what strong-willed children do—they fear nothing and conquer all.

So, you lace-up your shoes and take a step.

And I chase after you.

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And as you get older, I know the chase will get harder. You’ll test me in ways I’ve never been tested. Challenge me to be braver than I’ve ever been before—and take me completely out of my comfort zone.

Your spirit will light a fire under everyone you come into contact with, spreading passion and courage.

And sometimes, my legs will get tired, from playing this little game of chase, we always play.

But I’ll never ever stop.

Previously published on the author’s Facebook page

Dani Sherman-Lazar

Dani Sherman-Lazar is an eating disorder advocate, Vice President of a transportation company, and a mother to three daughters. Follow her on her blog Living a Full Life After ED and like it on Facebook. Her book Living Full: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorders is available on Amazon.