On my way home today I filled the car with the gas that I will use to go get him at the airport. Then at the grocery store I bought the milk he will drink later this week. Wearing my favorite boots with real wood heels, I've been stomping around all day like I own this place. Although you wouldn't have heard me coming, I never made a sound. It looks like I'm walking, but I'm three feet off the ground.
Yesterday I ran the farthest I've ever run. 9 miles. Today my knees are wrecked and I'm wondering how on earth people do this. Learning and doing with all this recent running interest, perhaps I am turning into "one of those" people. Crap. I used to love making fun of the athletic types (no offense).
My route took me up College Station and Riverbend parkway. Deep into the heart of co-Ed territory, I was certain that my natural swagger and wearing two sports bras totally let me pass as an undergrad. That is until a Honda Civic almost took out my knee while I had the light to cross the street. Cell phone chatty little blonde girl got a stern look and a very mom-tastic index finger wag. Yes, that blew my cover. Even sans minivan, I'm not a colleg girl anymore. As for the double sports bra requirement, two kids and a 40 lb weight loss. You fill in the blanks. I'd go on to lend the descriptive phrase PANCAKES. but that would be too much info.
Then came the coup de GRAS. Riverbend Pkwy follows along the backside of the UGA golf course. Gorgeous possible dream homes with more than a few FOR SALE flags a flying. Holy cats, Rob, I have found us the perfect Athens place to live. Wooded and golf-tastic for you, not removed from civilization and oh so fabulous yet unique homes to choose from pour moi. I wanted to squeeee from excited, but didn't have the oxygen requirements. This would be perfect, and I've got the wants. Just sayin'.
To recap, my training run took me from where I was not so long ago, a sweet college gal with perky pre-baby breasties to where I'm heading. A home we would love and grow in for many years in the town that has become our home. My run also took me right back to where we are, our quaint little rental we'll leave in May to start a new Navy adventure in California. I like to pretend we're never leaving Athens. A girl can dream, eh?
We've move past being able to just handle this deployment. Overwhelmed transitioned to capable within a few weeks.
Then came two flat tires in one week, 7 total ear infections, kicking in the back door when Grace locked Fin inside, having to put our sweet Suzie dog to sleep, a few phone calls to poison control, and a crazy me thinking it was a good idea to run a half marathon (Oct. 23rd, by the way).
Also came a few very dedicated babysitters, family happy hours with great friends, lots of fabulous summer birthday parties, fun & helpful visits from family, help from pals in a moment's notice, wine soaked yarn breaks every Thursday night at the local knitting shop, an amazing 100lbs weight loss (40 of Lilah + 60 of Rob, I'm impressed, feel free to agree), and a crazy me thinking it was a good idea to run a half marathon.
When spelled out like that, it seems like quite a bit of sh*t in the past six months. But, these are also everyday occurances that could happen to anyone in that length of time. They just simply happened to me, and just me to deal with. While always trying steady my stride along this journey, I often felt like a chaotic mess when the bad things happened.
Somehow along the way, I've found my stride. Day to day as a single parent has become the new norm. Recently, the earthy barista-boy at the local coffee shop commented, that as a minivan driving supermom, I was "living the dream." He's right, I am living the dream.
So what if I've learned to cram 3-4 tasks in 45 second increments while heating Fin's food just so? Carrying way more than I could handle at once was bound to result in an injury to my dominant wrist, right? (a surgical repair of this creepy ganglion cyst while Rob is home, stand by). Multitasking and efficiency have become as natural as anticipating when my child is fine or about to fall. A Mother's instinct is finely tuned to the needs of her own children, mine just had to become more acute and purposeful.
Despite mastering how to juggle parenting one-handed (ha, I only meant figuratively), I've learned when to ask for help. This was probably the biggest challenge. Of course I have to do more and go longer, but the breaks and support are still needed. It goes against human nature to ask for assistance, but FINALLY I've realized this is not a sign of weakness or defeat. Just like the training I've been doing, to build strength and endurance you need to give your body the rest it needs in order to recover and build your strongs.
Come October 23rd, I'll be pounding the pavement through the streets of Athens a pokey 12min/mile pace. A crazy me thinking it was a good idea to run a half-marathon. All 13.1 miles of it. With six weeks left until my Rob comes home, I'm already in a dead sprint. Each stride propelling me faster, and my heart threatening to beat out of my chest. I'm not running, I'm flying.
Dear Deployment, I've just made you my bitch. V/R, Lilah Kalloch
Yesterday when my car alerted me to low tire pressure, I stopped and fixed the problem myself. More specifically, I dug out my tire gauge, manually confirmed the low pressure situation, filled the tires with air, & rechecked just be sure. All. By. My. Self.
I'm not ashamed to admit this is the first time I've done this. I'm proud that now I have done it and am capable of not just doing it again in the future, but maybe showing my kids how to take a swing at self-sufficiency as well. May not have been an item to check off my bucket list, but the task was enough self satisfaction to make my morning feel like a win.
I just ran into my doctor at the Y, turns out we have a mutual friend in my knitting pal. Earlier today I took Fin to see his pediatrician, who called twice this weekend to check on him and make sure his fever wasn't cooking his future smarts. Seems like I can't go anywhere without running into someone I know, and most of the time like. A lot of the circles I've socialized my biznass in intertwine in more ways than I know. I love this about Athens. It's my babies' hometown. I would adopt it as my own if my own hometown didn't kick so much ass (birthplace of Chester Greenwood, inventor of the earmuffs, for realz). Dear sweet Athens, when are you going to loosen your grip on my heart??
My dear boy Finley at 13 months old is now five for five with ear infections. He's had an ear infection at least each month for the past 5 months. This is absurd considering it is not even cold and flu season. My poor baby with the hurty ears is causing not nearly enough sleep for this Madre.
Next week he is having tubes put in his ears to help drain any fluid that gets trapped behind the ear his ear drums. From what I understand, the immature anatomy of the eustachian tube is straight, and as kids grow, it becomes more angled, like an adult's. Without the angle the fluid does no drainy-drain and bacteria starts breeding like the kids on Teen Mom. Fin gets a fever, doesn't sleep, is uncomfortable/ in pain, and less than enjoyable to be around. (I would say he turns into a pint sized asshole, but a good mother would never say that about her precious child). He needs relief, we all need sleep, and I don't need to get acquainted w/ my pediatrician's weekly life.
The good news is this is a minor procedure and not uncommon. That helps allay the guilt my wandering thoughts have led me to think I'm somehow at fault. This is normal and has nothing to do with the lack of nutrition he received in utero from Mommy Maximus Vomitus. At least this is what I keep telling myself.
When all my sarcasm is gone, no one's laughing at 3:00am when Finley is screaming in pain and I'm crying right along with him from loneliness & fatigue. The light is at the end of the tunnel, my dear boy. You are going to get some relief. And Mommy is going to get herself some much needed sleep.