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Monday, August 31, 2015

So What? I Smiled.

The other day I did something and I am not sure how I feel about it.

Once I did it, I immediately regretted it and looked around to see if anyone had noticed. Luckily, my slip in self-awareness went undetected, but I still feel a little guilty that I did it. What evil thing did I do?

I smiled.

Let me explain.

The other day I had one of those really, really long days. The type of long day where you have to remind yourself constantly that your children really are children and not monsters set out to destroy your sanity. The type of day where after work you truly dread taking off the professional hat and putting on the parenting one. The type of day where if you hear one more, "Mommy you're mean," or read one more, "Why isn't my grade updated yet," email from a student, or have to say, "Stop it and listen to me," one more time that you might literally need to go in your bedroom, lock the door, turn up the music and scream at the top of your lungs.

It was on this seemingly endless day that my overly exhausted 5-year-old daughter decided to bring my day to a new level of long.

After hours of pulling her off of her brothers, taking away her toys as punishment, pleading for her to calm down, and talking to her nose-to-nose in my sternest of voices, it was on this day that my 5-year-old-daughter decided to turn into a hormonal 14-year-old teenage girl.

She decided to start glaring at me through gritted teeth, as if to nonverbally challenge me with every ounce of defiance she could muster. She rolled her eyes while saying "whatever" and walked away from me while I was speaking to her. I almost lost it several times.

As you can see, it had been a long day. But like all days, evening was close and I could sense an end was nearing.

After soccer practice, I took the kids to the park. Unfortunately my daughter got to play at the park after practice simply because I had promised her behaving little brother that he could play there afterward. I was not a fan of her getting park time in light of her previous behavior, so I almost took it away from them both, in spite of that not being fair to her brother.

It turns out though, that I am glad I didn't. Don't get me wrong- she was awful at the park. She did the glaring, the "I'm pretending I can't hear you," when you tell me to get down, and the "I must have the slide my brother has *RIGHT* now," kinda behavior the whole time we were there.

Several times I felt horrified and embarrassed at what the other parents at the crowded park must have been thinking not only about me as a lenient parent, but of my defiant devil of a daughter.

After I had said, "Two more minutes," about 15 times, I glanced to my left and noticed something.

The dad by the big twisty slide was yelling at his crying kid for not listening.

The dad by the swings was trying to calm down his own screaming daughter.

The zombie-like mom by the jungle gym was uselessly trying to wrangle a squirming toddler back into her reach.

And that's when I did it.

I smiled. 

It happened completely subconsciously and I didn't mean to do it, but I did it. I smiled. 

As soon as I noticed that I had done it, I immediately straightened my face and glanced around to see if anyone had noticed. Whew. They hadn't.

But you know why I smiled? 

Every. Single. Parent. at that park felt the same way that I did in that moment. We were all exhausted. We were all chasing down moody, tired, stubborn children that didn't deserve to be playing at the park. We were all on our last straw of sanity.

So in that moment, I smiled. And although I feel a little badly about it now, that smile changed my perspective that night.

My day didn't feel quite as long, and my daughter didn't seem quite as difficult.

So what? I smiled.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Day My Daughter Didn't Need Me

Well, it happened.

She went off to kindergarten.

My baby girl is a baby no more, and she was definitely ready. My daughter’s birthday is in late spring but it never crossed my mind to hold her back another year.

Academically, socially and athletically, my birdie was ready to leave the nest.

How did it go?

She had a blast. Fortunately she had previously known her teacher some and met a couple of her classmates prior to starting school, so she was really excited. She didn’t seem nervous at all.

For her, it was just another day.

For me, sigh… it was not.

Little Miss Independent wouldn’t let me walk her to her classroom on her first day, citing that she wanted her big brother to do it instead.  I never even left the drop off lane in the parking lot. She and her brother excitedly bounced out of the car, cheerily walked into their elementary school together, and disappeared.

She must have arrived at her classroom intact. In fact, I’m certain she did; from what another lucky, wanted parent told me, her big brother did great walking his lil’ sis to her classroom, giving her a big hug, and then wishing her a good day.

Oh, but it was a long day for this mama. My little girl was on my mind constantly, and my cheeks often dripped with salty sadness when I thought of her.

But the day went on.

When I picked her up from school, she was a ball of fire, exploding with happiness and stories of how much fun her first day was. The kids she played with, the snacks she ate, the books her teacher read… everything was the most fun she had ever had.

I displayed a big ole smile, raised the pitch of my voice, nodded with exaggeration, but I continued to fight back those tears I had been wiping away all day.

I truly am so happy her day went well.

But, mine did not.

I have some serious guilt. I have been holding back the admission of a horrible little secret since that day. Here it goes… There was a tiny little part of me that wanted her to have a bad day. (Oh the catharsis, you have no idea!)

Ahhhhh!? I know, right? I’m a horrible mom.

But I wanted her to need me. I wanted her to miss me. I wanted the school to call me and tell me that I must stop up there, just for a minute, and give my little girl a quick hug a few words of motherly wisdom.

But the truth was that she had had such a great day... that she didn’t need me.

This past week of my daughter going to school has been really hard. She is having a wonderful time without me.

Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled she is having such a magnificent experience in school.

I just wasn’t ready for the day when she didn’t need me anymore.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Why Runners Are Nice People

1. We pour drips of water on earthworms unknowingly trying to cross a burning sidewalk on a hot day.
2. We close open mailboxes as we run by them.
3. We greet each other as we pass, say hello to people mowing their lawns, and wave at bikers.
4. We move sticks and small branches out of the way for those coming up behind us.
5. We love making friends with and connecting with other runners.
6. Rather than argue, we just shrug and nod when non-runners say we are crazy for running half and full marathons.
7. We try our hardest to run when it doesn't disrupt the pattern of everyone else in our family, ie, early in the morning or late at night.
8. We yield to cars even when we have the right of way (okay this one might be more of a lifesaving technique than a form of kindness).
9. No matter how tired we are, we find the energy to smile at babies and puppies as we meet or pass them.
10. We encourage each other whether we are faster or slower than one another, because we truly just love the sport.

Monday, August 3, 2015

July 2015 Miles in 2015 Update

Our 2015 Miles in 2015 Team was amazing this month!!! ALL THREE OF US EXCEEDED OUR MILE GOALS FOR JULY!

I'll discuss my miles first. All I can say is that you can tell I am training for a race! In July I hit 108.96 mostly running with a handful of walking miles. I can say that my accrued miles are finally caught up from my injuries earlier this year that had left a few previous months struggling for me. I am very proud of myself! I created a pretty ambitious training plan for my fall races and am about 3 weeks into it, still going strong. The humid, hot weather kept me off the trails a few mornings when I overslept and then temperature creeped up too quickly for me to get out there. However, by rearranging a few scheduled runs onto different days of my training plan, I have been able to get in all of my weekly planned runs at their allocated lengths.

I am not the only one rocking the miles! Kate has had an amazing month with 66.5 miles and is on track to crush her goals for the rest of the year too. You can tell she isn't overwhelmed with wedding planning anymore because this girl is dedicated and back in the game. She is working hard and it shows. Kate truly amazes me and I am so happy to help her continue to accomplish her health goals this year!

Brandi is our rock of consistency on the team. She is the only gal on our crew to have met or exceeded her miles every single month this year. She has had an incredible July too, with 65.49 July miles tallied for our challenge. Not only does Brandi log running and walking miles like Kate and I, but she does extra stuff that we don't even count in this challenge. This chicka has been doing bootcamp a few times a week, walks and runs of course, and rides bike an incredible amount of time each month! All I can say is WOW. Way to go girl. I posted about her recent fitness accomplishments and encouragement last week in her most recent guest post.

Team 2015 Miles in 2015 has really done an excellent job. I am excited to see what August brings!