Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Busy Trip, No Triathlon Training, etc.

Yesterday I ran a seven minute mile in 100 degree heat. I don't know what I was thinking. It was actually about 7:30, the mile. And I'm sure I could have been faster in better conditions. When I decided I wanted to do a sub-eight minute mile, I wasn't thinking about the temperature outside. Luckily, I took my water bottle and it was full of ice.

After the all out mile, I ran two more. But the heat nearly had me sick. So I had to walk often and ended up only doing the three miles in 28 minutes. It was a terrible time. I'm trying to find out how well I might do in the triathlon I signed up for. Anyway, I didn't get to exercise much on the Utah trip, though I ran four miles one day (it was very difficult, what with the elevation difference).

All in all, it was a busy trip (photos). I actually feel worse physically than I did before I went. I feel better mentally, however.

I told my mom on the trip that I no longer plan on sleeping well when I go home. It used to be different, back before the introduction of grandkids. Now the grandkids wake up and scream and throw things on the linoleum above the room I sleep in while I'm visiting. They're genuine busybodies. I used to think I had a lot of energy to kill, but then I met Dani's twins, Ellie and Emma and they have outdone me.

But Jack, the twins' brother, has gotten older and his vocabulary has also grown and now we have great conversations. On this trip Jack told his dad that we're buds. It's weird how a kid makes you want to be a hero. Or, in my case, a heroine. Except I've never really been fond of that distinction, so let's go back to hero.

Jack makes me want to be a hero. I imagine it's how a parent feels, and in that case, it must be ten times harder to be a "mean" parent (in the parlance of the child). But sometimes you have to have the big picture in mind, right? For me it's not too hard to be mean occasionally because I know that I'll leave and the kid will most likely forget me in favor of his or her toys.

One of the things that I talked about with Jack was his brand new cousin Isabelle. For some reason Jack didn't want his other cousin Clayton (Anji's boy) to look at or be near her. She was laying in her car seat carrier thing (I'm still not sure about all the baby paraphernalia) and Clayton came over to look at her and Jack put his arm up to block him. It was a very subtle move. I didn't know kids could be so subtle.

I said to Jack, "Why'd you do that? Don't you want Clayton to see her?"
And Jack shook his head and said, "No."
"Why not?" I asked him.
"Because she's too precious. You have to be careful with her."

I'm not kidding. He really said that. I think Jack is four. And then he touched her cheek really softly and I told him that he's very good. This all went on beneath the attention of the adults, except for me because I still have all those great childlike qualities about me. Essentially, I'm on their level.

I'm not sure what Jack thought Clayton might do to Isabelle the baby, accidentally hit her or something, maybe (not that Clayton is violent or anything. So far I've seen no evidence that any of them are vicious children). Kids live in their own world, you know, and they see things adults don't see. Like when an adult leaves the kids' room and all the toys come to life and have a tea party with the child. Of course, as the child grows older these tea parties become less frequent, until, eventually, the toys no longer come to life because the kid's an adult. You know what I'm talking about.

On Sunday, Abby, my sister Kelly's first daughter (Isabelle is the second), got a birthday cake. Basically the cake was a naked Barbie doll. Jk jk. The doll was only naked underneath all the frosting because, get this, the cake WAS the doll's clothes. You've never seen a kid happier about a cake, a doll, or a box ("I, I, I think it's a box!"). She absolutely loved the attention and I can only assume that this is because of my sister's overindulgent parenting.

I had my cell phone out to take pictures so I could send them to Stoker, and Abby noticed and said, "Take a picture," in a very adorable, childlike voice. She has a bit of lisp—also adorable. Take note that the command to "take a picture" is only acceptable when coming from a child. Please don't use this one on me next time we hang out, otherwise I'll be forced to deck you.

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