In case of booger emergency…

A box of Scotties tissues

A box of Scotties tissues (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Goose and Bear suffer from seasonal allergies, as so many people do.  They are non-stop itching their noses and sneezing.  We go through a ludicrous amount of tissues.  I am equal parts “Cover that sneeze! With your elbow not your hand!” and “Bless you.”

You would think that this mother of 3, who has survived cold season many times and has 2 kids with allergies, would be prepared for spontaneous mucus expulsion.  You would think that, because she always has a complete change of clothes or two for each child in the Swagger Wagon, and an emergency potty, and enough snacks on board to keep the family fed for a week if we were ever to become stranded.  You would think that something as simple as a pocket full of tissues would be a piece of cake.

Then why, oh why, do I find myself digging through my giant 40 pound purse for a tissue, napkin or anything that passes as a tissue in the face of a child sporting a snot web from nose to chin (or worse- nose to chest- ick.)  Why can’t I bring myself to use a sleeve?  Why can’t I just remember to keep tissues handy?  Why have I resorted (on more than one occasion, sadly) to using a panty-liner as a tissue?

And what must passers-by think??

Just kidding… I don’t care.

Only If Someone Is Chasing Me….

That’s what I used to tell people when asked if I “run.”

What follows is a post that I began writing some weeks ago. It was intended to be light, and funny. But then stuff happened, and I’m not getting into that here. You know all about it, unless you’ve been living off of the grid or under a rock. Essentially, I found the post to seem trite and silly and bandwagon-y after the fact. I wasn’t going to post it.

I changed my mind. Here it is…..

I’ve been working on Couch to 5K for almost three years…. If you aren’t already familiar, this is the program (abbreviated C25K) that is supposed to get you from couch potato to a 5K in 9 weeks, or something like that.

The program itself is really quite effective if you stick to it. Obviously, I didn’t. There were enormous gaps in training. I often skipped weeks, even months, so the program cannot be blamed for my exceedingly slow progress.

Finally, this past Thanksgiving, my sister convinced me to register for a 5k “fun run”. I ran it…
That’s a lie. I totally walked half of it. But, it inspired me to register for a few 5K in the spring.

Recently, I ran another 5K… With Frances the dog. She does run with me sometimes… Sometimes as in, once a month on deserted streets, where the only distraction is the occasional squirrel. I’m not sure why I thought that bringing her to a 5K was a great idea. Lots of people, lots of dogs, lots of exciting things to see and smell. So even though she heels relatively well, it was all too overwhelming to expect her to run in an orderly fashion… Anything resembling a straight line would have been grand. My shoulder was stiff from trying to reign her in. Dogs are competitive by nature. Frances believes that if a dog passes her, she is obligated to give chase… Which is great, except that she is attached to a leash which is attached to me… And I am neither obligated nor capable of catching that faster dog. I’m just trying to finish.

Fortunately, as she (and I) tired, it became easier to keep her moving forward at a reasonable speed. We finished. But next time, I’m leaving her home.

So what have I learned about running? All the things that my running friends have said were true. (I recognize that I just lost half of you, the half that are squarely in the “Only if someone is chasing me” category. That’s cool. I get it. I was there yesterday.) When I get to run, my mood is better, my head is clearer,I have more energy and the world seems to be a better place. There’s the added bonus of being fitter than I have been in years. In fact, I can’t find a down side…. except possibly the fact that I get pretty darn grumpy if I miss an opportunity to run.

I won’t break any speed records (ever, I was, quite literally, passed by a guy in a wheelchair being pulled by 2 huskies at my last 5k), and I won’t go any impressive distances (Hey, I only just got to a point where I can run 5k without needing a gurney)… heck, I’m still not comfortable calling myself a runner. I run. I’m not sure when I’ll get to be a runner. But until then, I’ve found something that makes me a better me… at least for now.

If you’re thinking about running, there are a ton of resources available, although my personal favorites are the people I already know and love (my sisters and my friends) and the Another Mother Runner website.

Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day evokes images of mom being served breakfast in bed, surrounded by flowers and homemade gifts from her children.  And that is fantastic, but that is not the reality for most moms.  The reality (based on my informal poll of moms that I know) is more of a mixed bag: gifts (homemade or store-bought), meals (breakfast in bed, at a diner, dinner out), some other family activity, and hopefully a respite from laundry and all the other mundane things that occupy so much of our time.

Personally, and I know that I’m in the minority, but I enjoy spending part of the day by myself (this year, I’m kicking it off with a 5k run).  I feel like this is where I’m supposed to write wistfully about how I spend my alone time reflecting on the virtues of motherhood and how very fortunate I am to have my beautiful family.  Except that isn’t what happens.  I do love my family.  I feel extremely fortunate and grateful to have them, but I don’t spend that time counting my blessings.  Moments of solitude are so precious and few, that I spend whatever time I have that day soaking it up.  I usually go to a movie.  No, not some blockbuster that I’ve been waiting for weeks to see.  I go and see whatever happens to be starting at the time I arrive.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  In fact, if it’s an unpopular movie that will yield a nearly empty theater, that’s even better.  Then I spend that hour and a half letting my brain shut down.  I don’t have to talk.  I don’t have to listen (unless I want to).  I don’t have to wipe anyone’s bottom.  I decompress as fully as is possible.

Then, when whatever window of time has passed, I take a deep breath and go home.  I hug my kids, kiss their round faces, and smell their sweet heads (or if they are more funky than sweet, perhaps throw them in the tub).  I set about the business of loving them, and feeding them, and caring for them, only with a little more patience and a lot more gratitude.