Tuesday, September 15, 2015

My Children: The Unknown

Three Hoosiers landed in Utah this weekend.

We came to visit my sweet friend and Provo native Adrienne.  We also came to run a half marathon race in a canyon...what a treat!

Maintaining my klutz reputation, I wiped out on the trails...again.

We settled into Adrienne's family cabin.  If I could pack up all my belongings and move into this place, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Adrienne took us to the Olympic center near Park City.  Yes, that's a skier dangling in the air, fresh off a ramp.  I certainly envisioned Cooper doing something similar in a decade.

Soaking up the rays on a beautiful Utah day.

We didn't sit.  There was too much to explore.

Our best attempt at a selfie.

Claudia is a touch more graceful than me.

On Saturday, we awoke at 3:45 a.m. to make the hour trek to the starting line of the Revel Big Cottonwood Race.  We parked, and then took a shuttle to the starting line under the blanket of darkness.

Claudia and I snapped this photo right before the start.  Little did we know that while we were posing, the race actually started.  We quickly rushed to join the crowds.

The first couple of miles were downhill.  It was fun at first, until my legs started to tire.  My quads and calves began to burn.  At mile nine-ish, it completely leveled and the race really started.

It was my favorite race to date.  The canyon was absolutely beautiful.  The weather was perfect.  The sun came up right for the start.

Another group shot (out of order)

Miss this girl.  She's become lovelier with age!

As we headed to the airport to go back to Indiana, we spotted these hot air balloons.  I so wanted to jump into the basket and stay a bit more in Utah.  It was a wonderful weekend away.

If I've had a better race weekend, I can't remember it.  I spent four days in Utah with a pack of wonderful friends.  We mixed all my favorites in the span of four days: racing, hiking, eating (and eating some more), and laughing ourselves silly.

I arrived home in a haze of happiness.  

And that lasted for about a day.

Mommy duties flooded back so quickly, I wondered if I ever left.

Monday was a whirlwind of unpacking, laundry, groceries, and catching up on a zillion different forms of communication.  The day finished with parent night at the boys' school.

Parent night is the evening where moms and dads cram their legs under their child's little desks and listen to teachers explain classroom expectations, homework responsibilities, and behavior charts.  For those with a handful of kids, the night is long.  Said parent will bop from classroom to classroom until the stars fill the sky.

Much of the night is, to quote what I'm teaching my children, "not my favorite."  A dry recitation of science projects and field trips left me drowsy.  But, I do love chatting with the teachers and gleaning a few bits of information about my boys' behavior and performance in the classroom.

Last night, the teachers didn't disappoint.  They each provided a nugget about my sons.  Collin's teacher beamed as she talked about my little "cherub" (no bias here).  She gushed, "I just love Collin.  It's so fun to hear him go on and on about pandas.  He even wrote a book with all his facts about pandas."


Collin likes pandas?

I smiled and nodded like I knew exactly what she was talking about, but in all honesty I had no clue he loved pandas.

From the next teacher, I learned my son was placed in the incorrect math group.

About this time, I was feeling a bit like unfit mother of the year.

How did I know so little about my own children?  

I started to think about an analogy I had just read in a book.  The author wrote, "The problem with Christians is that they are the ones straightening the pictures on the wall while the whole house is burning down."

I wondered if that quote applied to mothers too.

Was I straightening pictures, while the house was engulfed in flames?  Have I been spending my time on trivial things at the expense of knowing my own children?  And when I was spending time with my children, was I focusing on the wrong things?

I spend time with my children.  As a stay at home mom, I have the luxury of lots of time (too much at times:) with my kids.  But, how am I using that time?  Sometimes it seems that those precious hours are filled with the have-tos: showers, homework, practices, chores, and discipline.  The leftover time is wasted.  I'm not using those valuable minutes to connect with my boys and really know their personalities, likes, dislikes, and quirks.

And so I vowed to use my time to become an observer and admirer of my children.  I want to know the little aspects of their personalities that few have the privilege to discover.  And, with that knowledge, I hope to love them deeper and grow them taller.

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