Tuesday, July 16, 2013

130 lbs of No

My middle daughter developed White Coat Syndrome, a paralyzing fear of doctors, when she became a human pin cushion. She had an unknown illness so we kept testing without thinking. 
Thriving. Living.

She was, and is, vibrant and curious but terrified of taking any physical risks. As a kindergartener, she screamed (a massive understatement) every day during her swimming lessons. And wouldn't sleep for weeks because of the anxiety. 

And here we are at the next childhood milestone - biking. Teaching her to ride a bike sounded about as fun as a root canal. My husband decided to bribe her with an animal. Six months and buckets full of tears (from her and me), she rode. Crashing and leery of everything, but riding nonetheless.

She asked for a cat. Simple enough? It was until the damn thing ran away hours after Ava held it.

She then asked for a kitten, because a kitten can't run away. Right. Now I had a kid who could ride a blasted bike but couldn't see straight because her red-rimmed eyes were swollen from endless crying.

She asked for a dog. We already had an eighteen-month-old lab (think Marley & Me). I put my foot down. We were not getting another puppy.

I tried to get a twelve-year-old mastiff. It would calm Ava, a life sized stuffed animal. 
Perfect - I think yes. 
I loaded everyone in the car. My cell phone rang. The lady hesitated before confessing on the bluetooth for all little ears to hear, "The dog died. But if we're still interested in a large dog I have a St. Bernard puppy."

We are not getting another puppy.

We got the damn puppy. All 130 pounds of her.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I run...therefore no one dies

The week preceding my "vacation" (the first four days I drove across three states with three girls by myself - so, yes I deserve to put both hands in the air and put quotations on vacation) I ran fifty miles in five days. In other words for five days, I ran ten miles every morning.

The clothes, food and sanity were packed in the car when I set out for my last ten mile stretch on the bike path. Because it was a thousand degrees by 5:30 (I already admitted that my sanity was in the car and clearly not in my mind), I gulped water from the water fountain like a drowning fish. 

A man next to me chuckled between blowing puffs on his cigarette. I ignored him while he waddled his overweight body in circles around the green bench parked by the fountain. I wiped my face and neck (I'm not a pretty drinker when I'm parched) and gave a nod before shoving my earphones back in place. Just as I flicked the music back on, I see the man shake his head and mumble, "Don't you know running is bad for your body?"
 I bit the inside of my cheek and ran an extra loop to avoid seeing my unsolicited doctor on the return trip. I hear more negatives about running, diet soda, and tap water than I care to admit. This frustration brewed and boiled within me the entire two days it took to reach Park City, Utah. 

I grew up in a house that bordered walnut orchards. In a county where agriculture reigned. I drank water out of the tap and helped my mother primp her lovely garden. I love to run - I love to feel my heart pound in rhythm to my shoes. It is the most genuine, naked feeling of being alive.

I worried about my children and their relationship with the natural world around them, and in them. With a spring in my step, I marched my three little girls on a hike throughout Park City.

We discovered lush trails, historic buildings, and hiked to my heart's content...


Or maybe I nearly killed my kids with a three hour hike on their "vacation." 

Couldn't help but post this...