Saturday, September 26, 2015

Caboose Lessons

When I was little my Mom often read me story of the Little Red Caboose. The main concept of the story is that the small red train car feels overlooked and unloved as he's always coming in last. However, by the end of this story, the red caboose has an opportunity to save the day, and see's that his actions had always been appreciated. There is nothing 'little' about being the Little Red Caboose.

Earlier this morning, I had some time and a personal experience being a 'caboose' by assisting with a 5K race for the agency my husband works. At the end of each race, there is usually a sag wagon or truck to follow the last group of walkers and runners to assure all make it back to the finish line safely. This year, I was asked to be the 'last walker' in the 5k to assure that all were present and accounted for at the end of the race.

While I was walking with Owen, my grandson, we took in the beautiful fall day, chatted with the runners and walkers, and paid attention to all the details that are missed when one is in the front of the pack during the race. I heard a group of walkers share stories about their lives, I saw walkers/racers help one another out with water and one stopped when a young runner took a tumble. I saw that there is actually much to see and experience when you are at the back of the pack.

In life it's tempting to think that the front of the pack is the best place to be. There are medals, trophies and applause for crossing the finish line first. But today, I crossed the finish line with my grandson and was happy to be at the back of the pack. Little Red Caboose, chug, chug, chug, you taught me that finishing last is not a failure - it's finishing AND watching out for all on the road ahead of you. This is an award in itself.

Keep on chugging.

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