Older now but still runnin’

may apples 1

So, Spring seems to have settled in, as we bounce between 34-degree mornings and 50-, 60- and 70-degree days. It’s a time of change and you either change right along with it, and become as flexible as you can about it, or stay stuck and feel frustrated. So I’m working on changing, being fluid, continuing to be open to life’s possibilities, messages and lessons. Learning a lot of them lately.

It was a busy weekend. I took the kid to a birthday party that included basketball and swimming at the local rec. center. He’s small in every way, my kid, but he gets right in there and takes his space and finds his place, taking the shots and not feeling bad about the misses. The pool portion was more nerve-wracking. I didn’t bring my suit as I was going to a party of my own right after the birthday thing, and my kid can’t swim yet. He can go around on the edges hanging on to the wall, and is familiar with the pool as it’s where he takes learn-to-swim classes every week (two years of class, he still can’t swim), but again the other kids being a little bigger and physically more advanced left him at a slight disadvantage. I pointed him out to a couple of the lifeguards so they could keep an extra eye. When they were playing in the kiddie pool I could relax and talk to the other parents, but every time they crossed the rope to play in the 4-foot water, I couldn’t help but get up and keep a closer watch. No offense to the teenagers but they had a couple hundred people to watch and I just had the one. Everything went fine and he had fun, and his Dad came to pick him up at the end of the party.

I took off for my annual dorm reunion party, a small but mighty group who gets together every year at a friend’s house where we drink too much, eat too much, have fun, get maudlin, yell and cry and yes, there’s lots of singing as well. This year, my friend hooked up an actual sound system so anyone who wanted a turn at the mic could actually be heard, which may or may not have been a good thing, ha. The party is also slowly changing, as time, old age and our own degrees of maturity fall into place. There’s talk of health problems – bad knees, strokes, bad backs. There’s talk of divorce and kids and the challenges therein. And perhaps the ultimate sign of all of us getting older is that the night ends with a whimper instead of a bang, everyone snuggling up in blankets and sleeping bags on couches and floors and all sharing a space together to catch some Z’s under the same roof, like we used to do more than 25 years ago. It’s always an emotional, fun and crazy night but it’s getting less crazy as we back away from the edge and settle into middle age. Shit, I don’t think anyone was even up past 1:30 a.m. this time.

Sunday the boy had his 2nd race and learned about how even when you try really hard, someone’s always faster than you. He wasn’t pleased with his sixth place finish, but out of a group of like 40 kids I think that’s more than respectable. We talked about not staying up as late the night before, eating a good breakfast and being more mentally and physically ready but that really, it’s all about just enjoying being outside and doing your personal best for that day. I told him when I run races there are always lots of people way ahead of me who finish earlier, but also lots of people behind me, and it’s just about enjoying trying to challenge myself and better myself over what I did last time. Which happens sometimes, but not every race. It will be interesting to see what he does next time. I hope to get him outside to practice once this week and give him some tips on form that might help him. I really think he has the potential to be a runner and this series will determine whether he wants to continue doing something like this going forward. My first race of the year is coming up fast.

Am working on quality of life right now. Wringing out every drop from these days, since who knows when our time will come.

The May Apples are up. Soon it will be time for mushroom hunting. I want to take the boy this year. It will be his first trip. Mom hasn’t felt like going the last couple of years but I think she wants to this time, so we’ll see what we can find.

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