Sunday, May 6, 2012

Running the Parenting Race

 Friday was Indiana Exploration Day for Caleb's class, meaning the kids made their own field trip.  We collaborated with a few other families and headed to Connersville, Indiana.  There, the boys hopped a train to Metamora, Indiana.  In Metamora, our tour guide "Smelly"  (really, that's what we called him) escorted us around this sleepy town, rich in history.  I enjoyed meeting some of the local characters (Indiana Joe) and experiencing a Hoosier small town firsthand.

 Pre 500 mini marathon poses with friends.

 Post mini marathon!  Still smiling, a little flushed.  Super happy for my friend Claudia and her husband earning PRs at the race.

 11th Year Wedding Anniversary.  

I had a great time eating out with Chris and watching a non-animated movie at the movie theater.  I'm blessed to have 11 wonderful years with my dear husband.

Bridal Shower at the Farm for Kathleen.

Shared a few laughs with the girls in the family.  How rarely I experience just girl time!

This morning, I flipped through the Indianapolis Star, skimming the mini marathon photos, searching for familiar faces.  That's when I eyeballed the list: "Top Indiana Women."  It recorded the top female Hoosier finishers from yesterday's 500 Mini-Marathon.  I scanned down the list and landed on my name.  I couldn't suppress a smile as I raced over to Chris and waved the paper under his nose.  "I'm in the paper," I gushed.  He snagged the paper and smiled when he saw my name.

The next few hours, my inner diva emerged.  I joked about "autograph hounds" and "paparazzi."  Chris smiled as he indulged me in my "moment" even as he watched my ego balloon.

Just as I was feeling pretty fantastic, my day began to unravel.  Two kids simultaneously melted down in front of an audience of relatives (capped off with one son wetting his pants).  I lost it, utterly, completely, undeniably.  (Lesson learned: physical exhaustion and mental anguish is a pretty nasty combination.)  It was a lingering sadness that still haunted me after the kids were tucked into bed.

I thought about how much easier it is to run 13.1 miles in pure humidity than be a parent.  A race is predictable.  You know how long you'll run, the obstacles you'll face, and how to train.  If the race becomes too cumbersome, you can stop.  

Parenting doesn't work that way.  It's not predictable, the route isn't easily marked (or even known), and there's really no training involved.  You're just plopped into the parenting race without even a chance to stretch.  So, you start moving forward, hoping you're running the right way.  You face hurdles, but you know the option to quit is not an option.  On a day like today, you hold your side and think, "I really can't run anymore" but there always seems to be a second wind and chance to fall back in stride.

I'm still waiting for that second wind.

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