A Day Person

A quick update: I woke up today and broke the Monday spell with my bare hands. The record stopped Mondaying. No matter that today is actually Monday. No matter at all.
Five days and five years ago, 7:00 a.m. came, and I did not get in my car. I did not sit in traffic. I did not stew about email that dinged in overnight. I did not hop on a conference call, pull on panty hose, or grab a coffee in that or any order.

It was the first day of the rest of my life. As a Day Person.

I had seen these Day People before. From the 11th floor window, I could see they were too big to be ants and too small to be cars. Some had strollers and some had friends and some had only themselves and their iPods to worry about.

"Where are they going at 10 a.m. on a Monday, for goodness sake?"
"Don't they have jobs?"
"What you wouldn't give to be strolling into Starbucks in your workout clothes at 11 a.m., am I right?"

That's what my corporate buddies and I used to say.

Secretly, we all wanted to be Day People. Some of us more than others. I might have wanted it the worst.

So when maternity leave finally came, I left. No one believed I'd really shut down my email or stop answering voicemail. "We know you. You can't stop," they said. But I did. COLD TURKEY. It took a couple of weeks, but by the time my son was born, I was clean.

I knew there would be plenty of stress-inducing piles to greet me when I returned. But for now. For these three months, every crunchy-leafed, pumpkin-spiced day was going to be mine. Mine to be a Day Person.

It was the best fall of my life (so far). Because I didn't take even one minute of it for granted. Sure, I was sleep deprived and hormonal. But I was with my baby, nursing. Not in the office, pumping. I walked to Old Town, picked up the dry cleaning, stuffed it in the jogger, and congratulated myself for getting one thing done that day. I changed Caed's diaper in the town square, and we sat on the dock with a double tall latte in one hand and waved hello to the ducks with the other.

It was just us. A Day Mommy with a Day Baby, being Day People.

Today I dropped off my Day Baby for his first day of Kindergarten.

I wore running shorts and stowed a jogger in the car. I traded smiles with several Mamas in their swooshing suit pants, as they held hands with their first-day-of-schoolers, knowing their next clickety-heeled step was toward the office.

Then I kissed Caed goodbye and with Dani's hand in mine, we left to run and play with friends on the trail and at the playground.
After several years of toggling between work and family, this is my first Autumn as a full-fledged stay-at-home mom. Not as a clock-is-ticking, FMLA-won't-last-forever Day Person. I am a permanent Day Person now.
And I already know. I already know what a blessing this is. Nobody has to tell me.

I think it might be--yes--it probably will be the best Fall yet.
When was your best Autumn ever? Do you think this coming season has a chance to overthrow the reigning champ? To be the best?



I've been wearing the same pair of grumpy pants three days in a row. I've been trying to snap out of them. I've been praying for a new outfit, perhaps one that comes with a paint-your-own smile. You know, because you're never fully dressed without one of those.

But then I tell myself it's no use changing, because whatever I put on is just going to get dirty. I mean, there's the spilled milk (yes, my life is a cliche), the bloody forehead (in the literal sense, not the cool British swearing sense), the greasy fingerprints (seriously, why did she just touch the underbelly of the car? is THAT what she thinks I mean when I say "Climb in your seat"?).

The calendar record keeps skipping. Monday. Monday. Monday. I adjust the needle and seconds later it's Mondaying again. And can you see what bad shape I'm in now, that I just turned a day of the week into a verb? (But did you notice how Mondaying sounds just like Mundane, if you say it like you live south of the Mason-Dixon? That's no coincidence, my friends.)

But of course I know better to complain. It is morally reprehensible to huff around because you're just sick of sorting clothes and figuring out what 2T dresses fit while the princess rearranges it all with her pink slippered feet. Because is having too much stuff to sort really a problem? Really? Because I'm sure it isn't for the mother a dozen towns away who doesn't have a single pair of pants to send her son to school in.

And for every complaint that creeps up I have a dozen examples of why it doesn't count. "I can't complain!" I lecture myself. And then my complainy self swipes another reeses cup and calls my high-and-mighty-look-at-the-bright-side self a bloody Pollyanna. (And bloody in the British swear word sense this time).

So, interestingly enough (or not), I began this post with the only goal of telling you I have a new Blog Button. But would you believe I got off course in the very first sentence? Too much Mondaying, I tell you.

But really, I have this new thing called a Blog Button. It's what the cool kids do to promote their blogs, and my friend Amber told me I should get one. And since she is the coolest kid ever, I had to do what she said. I can't not listen to Amber. So if you have a blog and if you like to put pretty buttons on it, and if (big if here) you like me and aren't afraid to admit it, you can "grab the code" (that's cool kid talk for copy the text below the picture), and add it to your sidebar.

I can't believe it took me seven paragraphs and eight uses of parentheses to tell you about my Blog Button. What can I say? It's Monday (again). Oops, make that nine uses of parentheses....

p.s. If you really want the button, you'll find it on my sidebar now with the grab-ready html.


Mom School

Overheard on the way to Kindergarten for "transition" day:
"Mom, I have a good idea. While I go to Kindergarten, you can go to Mom School".
Me: "What do they do at Mom school?"
Caed: "How should I know? I've never been there before!"

Today I posted the exchange above as my Facebook status, and several friends chimed in to inquire about the Mom School curriculum. I thought it might be helpful to address those questions here.

1) Will there be nap time? Yes, but you'll need to bring your own nap mat. And if you can't sleep, you are allowed to rest quietly and read books.

2) Will I get my own desk? Of course! And you will be required to sit quietly in it all day. Did you hear that? You get to SIT. QUIETLY.... ALL DAY!

3) Is Mom school the same as heaven?
No, but it's awfully close, my friends. Awfully close.

So any other Mom School questions out there?

What curriculum do you think should be mandatory in Mom School?

And yes, this is my not-so-veiled attempt to joke about how fun it would be to have hours and hours to myself when really I'm ready to weep at the mere mention of my firstborn baby going to Kindergarten.


I'm Not Tired!

Yes, dear, but your eyes beg to differ.

It's another (almost) Wordless Wednesday. Find more here and here.


Let's Just Wander Out Loud, Shall We?

I'm feeling a bout of melancholy coming on. Don't worry. It's the good kind. The kind that draws me to feel and think more deeply, to live more thoroughly. It's not so great for getting the housework done, and I wouldn't be much fun at a party right now. But nobody throws parties on Mondays anyway. And the house isn't going to fall apart in one day. (Although it's possible it will in one summer, and it's possible it already has. But let's not worry about that now.)

This pensive propensity usually prompts me with the urge to connect. I know, it's strange. You'd think the opposite--like as a melancholic introvert I'd just want to lose myself in my own head. I don't. It's lonely in there, and that leads to the bad kind of melancholy. I'd rather get lost in thought with a friend, wonder and wander out loud, take a seat on a bench together, find out how we're the same and how we're different.

Anyway, now that we've completed an excessively long lead in (a side effect of the melancholy no doubt), I want to ask you a favor.

Will you answer a few questions for me? Pretty please? In an effort to connect with the folks who frequent here, I'd love to hear your answers to these questions:

1) Do you have a blog? If yes, will you share your favorite post of all time? Just put the permalink in the comments so I can click right to it.

2) What is it you like to read here? Is it the serious stuff? The lighthearted, sappy mommy stuff? If you've been around for more than one post, I'm sure you know that my "voice" has not made up her mind about what she will be when she grows up. Maybe you could help her with that.

3) What do we have in common? Surely there is a thing or twenty--be it geography, hair color, a tendency toward the melancholy?

So please sit down a minute and tell me a thing or two. I just scooched over on the bench, and there's plenty of room.


Flops and All

I am not a try-new-things-and-don't-worry-if-it-flops kind of girl. Oh no, I worry about flopping. So I usually stick to the recipe, stay on the auto button, and take the beaten path.

But this week, I made a new recipe. (It flopped its way into the garbage.) Then I experimented with my camera settings and explored a path freshly carved by Hurricane Bill himself.

It turns out flopping really isn't as bad as I make it out to be. (Though the kids who had to eat the stuffed squash might beg to differ). And pushing myself to explore can take me to beautiful places, flops and all.

Thanks Melissa, for the continued encouragement to get our cameras off Auto and for the practical how-to lessons! I'm offering these photos up in response to her call for a bit of Show and Tell.


The Give and Take

There was snow falling, so maybe it was February, just beyond her first trimester, when we talked about fear. A physician herself, she was far too familiar with the turns for the worse. Hand over womb, she knew she walked a fragile trail.

Her head knew to pray instead of worry. But it's hard when your head is full of textbooks and your heart incubates a soul. She also knew the Father says to trust. Because He said so. Because I Am. So daily she chipped at anxiety with the strength of His promises, until the snow and ice disappeared.

And yesterday in the bright hot of summer, joy sprung unchecked as her healthy baby girl inhaled life.

I squealed so loudly at the news I woke up my sleeping toddler. It takes a wild joy to care nothing of naptime ending prematurely.


Several hours later there was news from another friend about another little girl. This baby grew outside the womb only ten months before she was lost to the grave. Her last breath taken.

I choked on tears when I read her mother's words. She also knew the Father says to trust. Because He said so. Because I Am. And how could it be she was already trusting? Though He had taken and not given? Though the turn for the worse was hers to trod?

Perhaps she could trust because she believes that it is the same hand that gives and takes away.

In the giving, His hand offers Joy, Blessing, Grace.
In the taking, His hand offers Comfort, Sustainment, Strength.
And in the holding of His hand, these friends, you and I, continue a path that may bend with blessing or curve in pain.

The exact course matters not as much as the trusting of the Giver-Taker, the trusting that we belong on the very path in which He has placed us. Be it to cry for joy or sob in grief.


Hair Despair

I couldn't bring myself to talk about it until now. Even just last week, I'd cry at the sight of scissors and bawl over the blow dryer.

After years of searching, I'd finally found the hair stylist of my dreams. Then last month, she and her deft razor-wielding hands just up and left for Florida. They just left!! Can you believe it? My hair already had some serious abandonment issues BEFORE she left. I mean what red hair doesn't, right?

But now? Let's just say it's going to take some serious product and a lot more texturizing before my red auburn mane recovers from this one.

Now that she's gone, I find myself replaying the lovely conversations we had while shouting over the blow dryer. I analyze every word, wondering what I ever did to make her leave.

I remember she asked, "So you prefer to go with a more whimsical look?"
But in hindsight, she probably meant: "You never style your hair, do you? You'd be lucky to brush it, let alone blow it out, am I right?"

And then there was the time she told me, "You've got some good length. You could easily take off about two inches, and you might benefit from a deep moisture treatment."
But I know now she was trying to say, "Seriously, do you not see that your ends split up in 1992, and there's no hope of them getting back together?"

I should have known better. I've been left at the salon chair more times than I care to count. Why did I let myself get so attached? Why did I lay all my locks on the table like a fool? Perhaps it was my needy, clingy cowlicks that scared her off.

Whatever the case, it seems I'll be sporting the "whimsical" look for many months to come.

It's Friday, and while I've decided this post is not even remotely funny, we're going to pretend it is and link it up to Amber's Friday Funnies. And just so you know, I spared you of about a dozen awful hair-related puns. You're welcome.


Peacing It Together

There is an unexpected quiet and a peace not fought for. And whenever it steps a silent foot forward, it startles me.

I did not see the moment coming. When two preschoolers would ponder, uncoaxed.

Or when waves would go from fizzling to flat, from crashing to cove, with a tilt of the moon.

Peace will not pose as an entitlement and refuses to be staged. It is almost always a surprise, a just-because gift. It is Wait! Don't look now, but I think that might be it. Hold still! I said not to look. Oh there, it's gone. But did you see it? Yes, that was most definitely peace.

And the best kind, the very best kind of peace, is the kind you discover (and usually by accident) alongside another.
Linked to I Should Be Folding Laundry's You Capture series, with a prompt this week of Peace.


The Last Few Sips of Summer

I'm wordless today as we slurp up the last few days of summer.


I Do It Too

I can predict with uncanny accuracy what she will say. Because it is almost always one of two things:

"Me too! Me too!"
"I do it. I DO IT!"

It must be yelled said at least twice. That is her rule, and she is a rule follower. At least when it comes to her OWN rules.

See, there she is on her bike, looking back to make sure I'm not touching the handle. Because if there's one thing she cannot abide, it's help. One push and you've pushed THE button. The one that throws her right into a stomping rage.
This might be the time in my life when I'm supposed to be learning patience. Perhaps if I learn we can start getting to the park at speeds above 0.002 miles per hour.

Not too deep down, I know I'm a toddler too. I'm independent when I shouldn't be. I whine under my breath. I demand my way, though I've learned to wrap it in subtlety. I cry entitled for more than what's mine to have. I sulk when I feel left out. I indulge in reeses cups unchecked like a grubby-handed, booger-nosed two year old.

So when it comes time to be patient with the actual toddler, the one whose behavior is age appropriate, you'd think I'd be a bit more understanding.

All I can say is, me too. Me too!



I just found this draft from a month ago. My mom and dad were visiting at the time, and I didn't have time to publish it. But I figured why not now...


Sometimes I tear up for no reason at all.

It happened twice today.

Now before you assume it's just crazy mother hormones, I must say it's not that kind of tearing up. Trust me. I know that kind of tearing up, am quite familiar with it, in fact, and this is not it.

It's the kind of tearing up that might better be called welling up. I feel full to my brim, and it spills into my eyelids.

I hear my girl giggling at the surf. I see my boy chasing a seagull, then announce what he's just done using a perfect "G" sound.

I watch my Dad doling out underdogs to his grandchildren on the swings and overhear the squeals of glee from the backyard. I see my daughter take my mother's hand and pull her into the frigid ocean, yelling "C'mon NANA!!!"

And I well up. Spill over. Give thanks.

I have not always felt this full. And I know my future may hold hollowed days. But today, in these moments, I well up.

Since I'm vaclempt, perhaps you should discuss among yourselves. What did you well up over this week? Or perhaps last month, if you want to follow my not-so-late-breaking reporting schedule?


Stop the (Com)Motion


If it must be, then please make it the slow variety.

Because I am tea-cup spinning dizzy. If summer was a suitcase, I'd need the entire family to sit on it to get it zipped.

But there is no time to sit. So I'm carting around days so dangerously packed (with the best of goods) knowing it might all spill out at the worst possible time. Knowing I might lose it entirely.

There might be a million reasons why we have allowed summer to make a commotion. But the only thing that matters now is that I take the time I don't have and stop. Put my foot out, skid up my shoe, and find a way to slow down.

Because this is too fast. And we're bound to have a Fall. And I'm just not ready for that.

So please? Can I have slow motion, just for a day? Or maybe a week? Because look! They're getting away!

And I cannot catch them. Or my breath.

Linked to Beth's You Capture challenge, where the prompt is "Motion".


What I Learned This Week: Lobster Edition

I confess that prior to this week, I didn't even own a lobster pot.

And for more than two years, I have lived less than a mile from the "Live Lobster!" sign. So you might say it's pathetic that my friend (remember her?) had to visit from California before I got the notion or gumption to try steaming up a few live ones.

But I have plenty of good reasons why it took this long. For instance, did you know lobsters are essentially from the sea insect family? And have I ever shared how ridiculously afraid of spiders I am? And how the majority of bugs gross me out?

And seriously, doesn't this guy look like an overgrown sea spider? Except he isn't hiding behind my headboard in hopes of sneaking up to bite me in my sleep and then letting me blame the mosquitoes. No, he's staring right at me. He totally wants to hurt me, and he wants me to know who did it.
I'm sorry, but if I were an early North American settler, I would never have even made eye contact, let alone made an attempt to eat that bad boy. The Native Americans had the right idea when they used lobster only as fertilizer for their crops. Because my friends, it's all buttery and rich until someone gets their eyes clawed out. And I'm pretty sure they didn't have rubber bands back then.

But I do enjoy lobster meat from time to time, and I figured it was high time I had the full crate-to-plate experience. Luckily, Alexis and the fearless husband were around to do most of the pre-steam handling. Alexis made a point to apologize to each lobster individually, which I thought was a nice gesture, especially considering they would pinch and twist her nose off if given the opportunity.

Pictured Below: My four year old who is apparently much braver than I am...

So this week, I finally learned how to steam a lobster. I'd tell you how, but you'd be better off just googling it and learning from some other random person. And if you came here hoping to find lobster recipes and culinary tips, I just want to say how very sorry I am. And to again suggest googling.

Because my only contribution to the lobster conversation is to marvel at how they look like overgrown sea insects and yet taste so delicious.

So let's take a poll. Who likes lobster? Who hates it? Who has never had it (and never will!)? Who has never had it, but wants to try?


Beachy Keen

I'll be the first to admit it. I don't tell you everything.

I didn't tell you about the time I took my sister and her family to the beach in rainy 60 degree (July!) weather, rendering us all blue-lipped and bitter.

I didn't tell you about the day we didn't get dressed until lunchtime or the day I made the TV my back-up babysitter so I could finish a work project.
There's a reason I take fifty pictures and only show you five.

I write about the moments I find worth framing and hanging on the wall. The ones I must relive at least once, be it to learn or to savor or to sigh unspoken thanks.

When I look at these pictures, I don't see (or hear!) the squabbling siblings who quite literally could not go two minutes this morning without squeals and fits.

Instead, I see the fearless little girl who giggled and splashed her way through an entire morning of sunshine.

I see an emerging engineer building an inside-out moat, a big brother eager to lead his little sis into battle against the tide. Of course we don't live in this beachy keen bliss all summer long. And of course there is far more whining and arguing than there are darling, blog-worthy quotables.

But there are seconds, minutes, sometimes entire hours that are so extraordinary I cannot let them go with just one glimpse. I must turn my head, gaze and stare. They are simply too beautiful to look away.
Did you have a moment worth gazing at this week? I'd love to hear about it!


If I didn't love her so much, I'd totally steal the camera

Alexis and I have been friends since my freshman year in college. Which, according to my math, is a really long time. That's her hair in the picture above. Perhaps later in the week her actual face will make an appearance.

She sojourned cross country to visit us, because I told her the lobster just appear from the shores of the Atlantic perfectly steamed with a packet of butter in one claw and a packet of lemon juice in the other. I know I lied, but I really wanted to see her.

So I took her to our favorite place for lobster today, and in return, she brought her Nikon D90. And not only did she take some great pictures for us, she let me hold the camera, play with the buttons and even take a few pictures myself. And I'm not sure I will ever be the same. (Father forgive me for I have sinned. I have coveted, and now I'm contemplating stealing.)
The thing about Alexis is that she laughs at my jokes like I'm hilarious, and plays with my kids like she already loves them, and we both swear no time has passed. Except you wouldn't believe how different our hair looks since college. And trust me, that's a good thing.

Oh, and the other thing about Alexis (there might be lots of things about Alexis, so don't try to keep count) is that she is really good friends with The Flow. She's always going places with it. Like tonight, she came along with us to a concert in our town, and met a bunch of my friends and their kids. And within minutes she was chatting like she was part of the gang, offering to tell them stories about me from college. (She's a giver that way).

And taking bee-yoo-tiful photographs of all of our children.
And the last thing about Alexis (for this post, anyway) is that I love her to pieces.

The end.


The Quotable Kindergartner

In a few short weeks, the little man will head off to Kindergarten. Do you think it would be too much to ask his teacher to record every cute little thing he says? Because I can't even tell you how much bloggy fodder I'm going to miss out on once I'm out of earshot from 9 to 3 every day. Not to mention how much of him I'm going to miss. Not even the redemptive return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes could pull me out of this dread of the first day of school.

So in lieu of me droning on about the passage of time and how quickly these darlings grow up (I'll save that for Monday), how about a Give-Me-My-Summer-Back! Back-to-School dose of the quotable Caed? Sound good? Okay, here goes....

On Travel

Randomly, as we were driving in a foggy evening:

Boy, it's not a good night to sail, is it? Because of all that fog. If you want to go somewhere, you can take a train, or maybe a car, but definitely not a sailboat. And you know what else you shouldn't do? You shouldn't ride on a seal! Because you would have to go underwater, and the water is too cold for that tonight. And the seals would be like, "Arhh Arhhg get offa me!"
By the time he finished, we were all laughing--I at his randomness, he and his sister at his seal impression.

On Safety
When Dani wasn't cooperating with hand holding in the parking lot, Caed stepped in with an eerie imitation of my motherly tone:
"Dani, let me tell you a story. This one time, when I was in the big city, I wasn't payin' attention and I fell into the street and almost got hit by a HUGE bus. And that woulda been really really BAD cuz I coulda gotten dead. And that's why you always, always HOLD HANDS!" (Now, this really did happen in NYC when he was 2 1/2 years old, although he didn't actually fall into the street. He just pulled away from my hand for a second and stepped one foot off the curb, but it was enough to scare some sense into him. Enough that he remembered it two years later!)

Then, in response to Dani bumping her head on her dresser, Caed admonished:
"Seeeeee! That's why we never play with doors." (Never mind that she wasn't within four feet of the door.)
On Manipulation
Sitting next to me at the breakfast counter, looking over my shoulder at pictures:
"Mom, I want to see that video."
"It's not a video, Bud. Eat your breakfast."
"I just want to see it!"
"Turn around and eat."
"Mom, I need to tell you something.....Umm, Umm, I looove you."
"Are you just saying that because you want to see the pictures?"
(Giggling) "Yeah."
On Stuff I Don't Even Know How to Categorize
"My leg hurts."
"What do you think is wrong, Caed? Do you have a bruise?"
"Well, I think it's science. Whatever it is that is hurting me is so tiny that the eye can't see it. And even DOGS can't see it either!"
(Wow, not even dogs, huh?)
"I need some more milk to dry off the meat." (I believe the phrase you're looking for is "wash down.")
And I am not kidding when I say I could go on and on with excerpts of Caed's unintended entertainment. But lucky for you, the kids are now awake and I need to go about the mommy business of feeding and dressing them, and recording their every word.


You Could Just See the Wheels Turning

Training wheels came off, and the crooked helmet went on. A skinned knee was no bother, just part of the uniform.

"Caed doin' it! He bidin' his bike!" the little cheerleader squealed and clapped.

Then came unstoppable smiles and high fives all around.

"Again?" the proud rider asked his Dad.

"Again!" said Dad.

A few more rounds were had that day, and then the next. And those wheels have thousands more times to turn.

But for that first time when the wheels turned and he beamed and balanced and nearly skinned the other knee, I was there. And so was his Daddy. And we know better than to ever ask for more.

Linked to Tuesdays Unwrapped, as the gift of a moment I will most certainly never forget. Even now as I recap, I can't stop smile-crying. Or "smying", if you'll permit this sappy mom the privilege of a made-up verb.


Happiness Wins- Part Two

To read Part One, click here.

Dani hadn't clued in on the dilemma as she happily squealed, "I got on my swimmin' soup (suit) and swimmin' dahper! I go to da beach!!"

But Caed knew something was awry, "Why is the line not moving? Wow, we hit TWO traffics today. What are we gonna do now? I don't wanna go home!"

Where, oh where, was my thinking chair when I needed it? (And by thinking chair, I really mean the iPhone I continue to drool over and will probably not own until the price drops BELOW the cost of an actual thinking chair).

I called home and sheepishly asked Larry for yet another favor--to Google "spraygrounds." This of course resulted in a wealth of information on spraying our vast estate grounds for the purpose of organic pest prevention. I chalked it up to another failed attempt at surrogate googling.

So we took a Chance (which just so happens to be best buddies with The Flow, and so, by association, another shady character I'm not so fond of). And we headed to a park where I "had thought I'd heard somewhere that there was a wading pool." (Sounds real promising, right?)

I tried to manage expectations, particularly in response to the four year old's exclamation, "Hurray, we're going to a water park! Just like at FunTown/SplashTown!"

Um, no. We're going to a regular park. And there might be some ducks. And maybe some water for getting your feet wet. And if all else fails, we'll get ice cream. (Yeah, I used the ice cream card right up front. Because I was pretty sure I was gonna need some by this point.)

And guess what? Chance and the Flow totally delivered this time. Because the park? It was a double scoop of fun with sprinklers on top.
The kids wasted no time in getting wet and in challenging the fountains to "water boxing." It was a game they always won, except the one time when the water shot right up Caed's nose. And then it was just a tie.

After countless rounds of water boxing, Caed exclaimed as we dripped our way back to the car, "Seeee....Happiness WINS!"

Amy and I laughed and asked him what he meant. We thought he was still talking about water boxing. "Where did you hear that, Bud?" I questioned.

"From you!" he giggled and went on to recount what I had told him last week.

Ah yes. Now I remembered. He had been in a grumpy mood and "couldn't stop being cranky", so I told him that when we feed the good and choose to be happy and thankful, the happiness grows bigger and bigger. But if we feed the bad and choose to complain and focus on the bad stuff, the grumpiness grows bigger and bigger. So we've gotta feed the good stuff so it gets bigger and beats out the bad stuff.

Dear words of mine, how is it that you can and will be used against me to convict my flow-hating, chance-evading, plan-clinging, grumpy-slinging self?

But Caed (and my Last Week Self) were absolutely right. Happiness really does win. Especially when you repeatedly choose it, feed it and let it grow.

And feeding it with ice cream cones doesn't do any harm either.


Happiness Wins - Part One

It all started Thursday night when my saintly husband surprised me with a sought after bib in the Beach to Beacon 10k and volunteered to hold down the fort on Saturday morning while I ran.

"But I haven't been training!" I said, grinning ear to ear, adrenalin already pumping. "And what about Amy? I don't want to just leave her!" But already I was assuring myself that I'd be back by 9:30, 10:00 a.m. tops. And I knew Amy (my friend and former colleague visiting for the weekend) would want me to go for it.

And go for it, I did, along with nearly 6,000 other runners. I knew it would be crowded and crazy, but really I had NO. IDEA. The field never thinned out. I weaved and dodged and huffed for 6.2 miles.

But the crazy didn't really dial it up until after the race, when 6,000 runners tried to get on one of maybe six shuttle buses. Kate and Ryan and I seized an opportunity to hop aboard a bus going only halfway back to where we had parked. Because if we hadn't, we might still be at Fort Williams waiting for a ride.

But the thing about only making it halfway is that we had to run nearly three more miles to get back to the car. So you might say it was the day of the 10k turned 14k. Nothing like an unexpected 4 kilometers to put you in a jolly mood.

So now it's a bit past 11 a.m., and I am FREAKING. OUT. Because (a) I've abandoned my family and my guest for the entire morning, (b) it's going to be the busiest beach day of the summer and they are waiting for me to come home so we can go to the beach, and (c) my legs? they don't feel so good.

Of course we were delighted to return to the car and find an exit line the length of a yet another 10K. The only positive was that at least I could call the man to let him know what was going on. But when I called and found out they were all "ready for the beach" and "just waiting on" me, I resumed FREAKING. OUT.

I told Kate I wished I could be one of those people who didn't make plans, who deferred to the day to evolve. But me? Me and the flow don't mesh, and ain't no way I'm going with it. I've tried, really I have. But the flow is just so ridiculously unpredictable. And I just can't have that, you know?

So. I took deep breaths. And I tried to be thankful that it was a great race. And that Amy and Larry would totally understand. And that we were all happy and healthy.

When I finally arrived home, Larry (did I mention he's a saint?) had fed the children and adorned them in proper beach attire. He retreated to try to get some work done, and I headed out to the beach with Amy and the kids.

We went to the smallest, least known beach in our town. And there was a line potentially a couple hours long just to park. And even if we'd had the patience, I knew there was only so long a swim diaper could be trusted.

So what could we do? (Freaking out! Freaking out!) The kids were expecting a fun afternoon. I wanted to show off a bit of Maine to my friend. And the beach was clearly not an option.

It was time to make peace with the flow.
(to be continued...click here for Part Two)

picture by cara

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