Keep on running

By Paula Duke

aka Paula driving between soccer, football and tennis!

Officially, school has not yet started. But in reality, it has started. You know, it – all the stuff that comes with this time of year. The hustle and bustle feeling is upon us and as Moms we start feeling almost dizzy. So much to do to get ready and it seems impossible to get it all done.

As part of it, sports have started.  Practice, practice, and more practice.  As the Mother of four boys, I often feel like a 1976 stretchy man that drives a yellow taxi. Going here, dropping off there (don’t forget your water bottle!) and then back again in time to pick up the first one I dropped off. Dinner?? Please.

My youngest is playing tackle football this year. His team is the Cowboys. Of course, he is my smallest, skinniest, boniest boy. But he loves football and begged to play.  So far, so good, and he’s enjoying it all.  He is just one big bundle of pads with a giant helmet on when he gets dressed, yet I find it very cute. (This picture is of what he asked for last year for Christmas. See what I mean?)

AD is all bones. I don’t know how in the world he’s going to tackle anyone!

Last night at practice, they ran drills, worked on throwing the ball and did a little bit of tackling. Towards the end, they were hitting the dummies, practicing getting around obstacles.  Hit the dummy, turn around and keep running. Jump over the dummy, keep running. Hit one dummy, twirl around, run to the other, spin off, and keep running. And don’t drop the ball. Or fall over.

As I watched this last exercise, I thought, wow – that’s a lot like life. There are obstacles all over. Everywhere we go. We just have to hit them, dodge them, jump over them, and keep running. And don’t drop the ball. Or fall over.

That’s what we do here at Ronald McDonald House Charities.  We aim to remove obstacles. Because if you have a nice home-cooked dinner, you can concentrate on your baby. If you have a place to stay, you can rest, and better focus on the care of your child. It doesn’t solve all of your problems, but it takes away at least one obstacle. So that you can keep on running. And not drop the ball. Or fall over.

Check out our events, become a volunteer, or simply learn more about what we do at  And if you’d like to help us tackle others’ obstacles, let us know!

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3 Responses to Keep on running

  1. Joan Duke says:

    Super, Paula. You do a lot of good work. Love to all, Joan

  2. Jane Rose says:

    Terrific post, Paula! The not falling over part is really important…I must remember that one! =)

  3. Ann Jerome says:

    Paula – I don’t know how you do it times 4!!! Great post – great analogy of our mission!!

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