Thursday, November 10, 2011

That Word Actually Means What You Think It Means

Good is broad. I believe that there are lots of good. Lots of good restaurants. Lots of good schools. Lots of good parents. And none are alike. Agree?

So to you good mothers and fathers who if they heard their child curse would sharply gasp/freak out/smack their child’s face/wash their child’s mouth with soap/talk sternly to and add time out… you may not want to read any further.

I’m a good mom, too. And mainly because I was a curious child who asked a lot of questions that resulted in some, if not all of the aforementioned responses from my good parents I’m another kind of good.

Which is why I didn’t even flinch when my 5-year-old said, “I know ass is a bad word.”

Instead I thought to myself, I wonder if I can peg this on my husband.

“Oh that’s a new word. Where did you hear that word?”

“Nowheres. I just knowed it. What does ass mean anyways?”

“Just to be clear, it all depends on who says it. If you’re reading a bible story at school and they say ass, it means a donkey. But usually moms, dads, and teachers don’t like to hear little kids say that word.”

“Oh right. But what about the Ass Jack?”

“You mean Jackass?”

“Yeah, Jackass. (Let me just say it is uncanny how easily jackass rolled off his tongue. It was like he was talking directly about Rick Perry.)

“Oh that’s a terrible thing to say. It means jerk. Like a really dumb jerk who is mean.”

“Anyways, Mom, what about that ass of the kicking?”

“You mean like, I’m going to kick your ass?”

“Yes. Like when Cooper said that at the zoo!”

“Oh that is a naughty way of saying, I’m going to kick your butt (and here I nicely kicked him in the behind.)”

“Oh-ho-ho, now that would hurt worser!”

And that was basically it. No immediate intrigue and mischievous smile that told me he understood he was in trouble; but couldn’t wait to be in that kind of trouble again. Just, a stoic and placated peace from the backseat. See, I’m not that bad.

PS -- Remember when Cooper kissed my butt?!?!?!?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Happened In Vegas

This is Van #1: Sadie, Me, Devin, Rachel, Marc, Lindsey.

I did something really incredible. Really. Like the kind of thing that buoys you up and makes you feel both loved and worth being loved.

Now I’m talking crazy and putting too romantic a point on a very plain event. I ran a race. Nope. That’s not it.

I boarded a plane, carrying two small bags filled with running clothes, tennis shoes, an iPod, a Garmin, 3 headlamps, and 4 reflective vests.

When I sat down in my excellently spacious exit row seat the joker next to me asked if I was traveling to Vegas for business, or pleasure. I hesitated and said, “I’m going to run a race.”

Here's my youngest brother and I, he's deciding if he can finish with heat stroke. He finished. He's a stud.

I’m going to run a race has been the sentence to sum up everything I’ve done since June. It was a good excuse. No one argues with this excuse. I’ll pass on a glass of wine because; I’m going to run a race. Why yes, I’ll have another slice of pie. I need the calories; I’m going to run a race. I’m waking up before the sun for training; I’m going to run a race. No questions, no badgering, no bullying, no pushing, no stink eye.

And it was nice.

But when I told this nice gentleman with a voice like Penn and Teller (whichever one of them talks) he raised an eyebrow and said, “What kind of race.”

A short description of Ragnar Relay, Las Vegas and I got an earful of how foolish I was. Not just from him, but from the whole row!

And it was nice.
I'm that little reflective T you see on the left of the picture.

There is a courage that comes from doing what others think is senseless, particularly if you’re prepared -- and for once in my life -- I was prepared. So, I was confident – though a little afraid of the dark – and ready to take on this adventure known as the Ragnar.

When I think about why I agreed to train and travel and participate in this particular relay there is really only one answer. My brother asked me. He said it would be fun. He said it would bond our family together. He said I could finish. And I believed him.

Obviously, that's me in the pink diaper shorts. Why do running shorts look like diapers!?!?!

Now that it’s all over and we did indeed finish I’ve been shuffling through the photos and I’ve come to this conclusion. I didn’t go to Vegas to run a race. I went to Vegas to discover who is my family.

And it was nice.

It turns out; family is more than your brothers and sister. It’s not just your parents. It is your running partner who logged countless miles and hours at your side and converted you to early morning runs. It is your husband who stayed behind to watch the kids. It is a neighbor who sent you a text in the middle of the night to wish you luck. It is one of the other 1st grade mothers who wrote you an e-mail just to tell you how amazing you are just days before the race. It is the woman you’ve known since you were 5 who saved you from chaos and provided you a safe and quiet place to land after the race. It’s anyone and everyone who touches your life and knows that those who have felt the greatest need for help give the most relevant help. Oh my gosh, I love my family!
The whole family, but not the whole team. From left to right: Trent, Andrew, Me, Dad, Mom, Adam, Devin.

Aside from learning that I like my family, I determined I want to test myself. Running through the desert in the middle of the night wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I think a marathon is next, my friends. (Or I could be convinced to do another 200-mile relay with a 6-man team.) So, if you’re wondering…

I’m going to run a race.
A picture just to prove I never take myself TOO seriously.