Sunday, January 29, 2017

Why I run...

People ask me sometimes why I run.
And I wish I could show them the snapshot of this morning now, each time they ask.

It was warm in the house, and Bon Iver was rolling out in waves over the Bluetooth speaker in the front room. I was turning pancakes on the griddle and the kids were crafting on the island - making slime from toothpaste and glue and hot gluing tiny pieces of cardboard together...

It was hard taking that first step outside. It's like waking up - that first blast of cold air that hits. The pup was high-stepping in the cold, re-smelling all his spots. And we started out slowly, slowly into the woods. But as we ran, we slid into a steady rhythm: step step step breathe step step step breathe, my muscles starting to ease into the movements.  And a mile or so out it starts to snow. Big fat fairy snowflakes are coming down and catching in my eyelashes and the dog's fur. And the pup is stopping every 50 feet to jump up and try to catch the flakes in the air. And he's smiling. Don't tell me dogs don't smile. This pup, with his tongue hanging half out of his face, with that slightly maniacal gleam in his eye as he runs, he smiles. And we run on, our breath coming harder in deep gulps of freezing air. And as we forge on, in fits and starts, the snow turns harder, icier. And we're being pelted with small ice flakes. and we RuN. Don't let that dog fool you - he's a runner. That dog might just be my spirit animal - slow and lazy most days, but a runner at heart, when his feet hit the trail.

And the ice-snow comes down harder and my thighs start to burn we're running so hard - leaping fallen branches and dodging trees on the trail, and I swear to you that dog is still smiling, his tongue trailing back behind him like a slobbery banner. And as the house is in sight he pulls up hard, for no reason. And I stumble, barely catching myself, and sit hard on the packed, hollow-sounding earth of the trail. And we sit, silently, side by side, for the space of time it takes for the cold to completely seep into my running tights and my skin and deep into my sit bones. And we breathe and watch the ice-snow fall between the tangled branches above us. And we breathe slower and softer as we sit, not quite ready to stop, to return to the warmth and the tepid coffee and the half-eaten bone that await us. Not quite ready to give up the cathedral of the run just yet.

I run because something inside me tells me I need to.
I run because I feel more alive when I do.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Sixth-grade girls are rough

It is heart-breaking to watch cracks appear in your daughter's armor because of the harsh words of others.

Sixth grade girls are assholes.

The Biz is at that age where I know I need to back off and let her find herself. I have to remind myself daily that I have raised her to be a strong, independent thinker; a young woman with a sense of self; an empathetic girl who thinks of others first. She is imaginative and creative. She's a reader and a dreamer. But it absolutely kills me to see her cry when sixth-grade girls act like...well...sixth grade girls.

Bitches be crazy catty, yo.

Feeling helpless is an inherent part of being a parent. So much of The Munchkins' day is spent out from under my protection as they grow up and out. And when their small spirit is broken on someone else's watch? Somewhere I can't be? There is an impotent fury that cannot be quelled.

Some days you just can't fix it all. Hell, some days you don't even find out about an incident until days later. And some days? The only solution to a tearful girl now questioning herself due to the cruel comments of other girls is to simply  curl up in bed together crying and whispering and telling stories until tears start to dry and smiles cautiously peek out.

Your kids are going to be hurt. Tomorrow, next week, next year. It's going to happen. It's a part of the journey. And you'll have to trust that you've instilled in them all the strengths that will see them through to the next day after they've had a good cry.

That's not to say that I can't secretly think terrible thoughts about the little turd that made my daughter cry. Because I definitely am. Right now. RIGHT. NOW.
But The Biz is strong. And she's starting to figure out who she is. And she'll be stronger for this... eventually.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

zippered case

Sweet little handmade pencil case for The Biz... who has been begging for one since the first day of school...

Friday, July 31, 2015

Vacation Logs: Heading Home

The worst part about road trips?
The inevitable long trek home...

A part of me is desperate for this amazing  week to never end. The rest of me just misses my bed.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Vacation Logs: First View of the Ocean

Today, The Munchkins saw the ocean for the first time.

We are salty, sand-covered, and full of hand-dipped waffle cone ice cream cones. We played old timey arcade games, strolled the Hampton Beach Boardwalk, and lounged on the beach. We dove into waves and built an epic sand castle complex.

What a day...

Vacation Logs: Tuesday Pool Day

Some days you just need a lazy day poolside.

And by lazy, I mean so full of sun, diving, jumping, floating, and playing that the kids fall asleep in their dinner plates, bellies full of kielbasa from the grill...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vacations Logs: Mt. Mansfield

Who hikes the highest summit in all of Vermont with three kids, two babes in backpacks, and a ten-week old puppy?

We do.

With the Adirondacks to the west of us and the White Mountains to the east, we trekked up Monday for breathtaking views of Stowe. The Munchkins bounded from boulder to boulder, ecstatic just to spend a day out of the car.

Sister was in her element, hiking boots on, on of the twins rigged up on her back, pointing out landmarks and keeping up a constant patter of back & forth with the Luke on her back. I am im awe of her strength. Not even twins can slow that woman down. She has a new serenity about her that I don't remember from before the twins Nothing seems to rattle the half smile from her face.  It's hard having her live so far away, but seeing her so stunningly happy eases that a bit.

This is the best version of you, Jane. The most YOU you will ever be; despite past conversations to the contrary.

Love you.

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