One of the most frustrating things about motherhood is that one can never say, “I told you so.” I’ve accepted this which is why I have a blog (someday boys, if you are reading this, you’ll have kids and a blog).
The boys completed their first marathon this weekend. It was a grueling trail run which required the use of hands on some of the steeper hills. I am extremely proud of them (I posted it on Facebook and commented on my own photo three times)! Nonetheless, there were some “I told you so” moments which I could not share out loud, so I’m sharing them here.
As I mentioned in an earlier post (Marathon Mom), I ran a marathon when Kip was 16. I thought of it as marathon therapy after a bee made me realize how powerless I was to protect my children. I needed something much stronger than a blog to get me through three teenagers. I would work out my angst over Driver’s Ed and parties on Spooner Summit by running nine miles a day along Lake Tahoe from Bliss to Vikingsholm and back to Bliss; I’d soak my feet in the lake at Vikingsholm, have a cry, and by the time I returned to Bliss State Park, the endorphins had kicked in and I was ready for another round of high school parties (which by the way is why our Tahoe house is not a vacation rental).
During those “Bliss runs,” I hoped that Kip would someday run a marathon, so naturally, when the boys signed up for this marathon, I was excited to give them some advice:
Me: You may want to run up a hill occasionally or think about running up the stadium steps a couple of times a week.
Bibs: Nah, we’re good. We ran up hills in Indonesia this summer.
Me in Albertsons in Goleta last week: I bought you this Vaseline and some large band-aids for covering your nipples and chafing. Make sure you pack them.
Me: Remember the train leaves from Santa Barbara.
Bibs: We missed the train, we thought it left from Goleta. We’re on the bus, we saved $70, we’ll arrive in Oakland at 10:57 p.m.
Me to Tony: It was worth the $70 bucks not to have to drive all the way to Oakland and back at 11:00 p.m.
Me: You should probably carry some band-aids for blisters.
Bibs: We like to work through the pain.
Me: Do you have water?
Bibs at the start: Got any water bottles in the car? Got any band-aids and Vaseline (used my toe tape for nipples and chapstick for chafing)?
Bibs after the race: Man those hills were messed up!
Me: Did you think of me at all while you were on the hills?
Me: We’re leaving tomorrow at 7:15 a.m. so make sure you are ready to go.
Bibs unable to move: The train doesn’t leave until 8:25 a.m. we’ll have plenty of time.
Bibs 7:30 a.m. tearing the house and car apart: I can’t find my ID (his passport with stamps from all over the world. I felt really bad for him, but I also wondered why he was using his passport for ID instead of his driver’s license).
Me: The last time I saw the passport was when I handed it to you and you put it in your backpack before the race.
Bibs: Did you move my backpack?
Me: Yes, but I’m sure your passport didn’t fall out.
Bibs: If it fell out in a college town, someone is going to use it to buy beer.
Me: If I found it, I’d turn it in.
Bibs: When you were 19, would you turn it in?
Me: The drinking age was 19 when I was 19, and yes, I would have turned it in.
Bibs: I can’t find my ticket.
Frantic look for the ticket (it was in my purse).
Me arriving at train station at 8:20 a.m.: I love you!
Last night Kip sent me an email telling me not to worry about the passport, that he’s planning to fill a new passport with new stamps from around the world. He handled the loss a lot better than Tony and me (we were prepared to drive all over the Bay Area today looking for it because we are wimpy, worrywart, helicopter parents).
Fortunately, we called the campus police before we started our search. It turns out the passport did fall out when I moved his pack, AND someone turned it in! So we can just exchange a bunch of “I told you so’s” and call it a day.
Kip: Overall Place – 41, Division Place (30 and under) – 3 (He gets a prize).
Ralphie: Overall Place – 56, Division Place (He was the only one in his division and the youngest runner in the marathon).
Yeah, yeah – Bibs told me so!
April 2005 – Marathon Mom:
Training for the marathon has become my respite from the dishes, the laundry, and the oozing hormones that are seeping out of every pore in our household. I decided to train after Kip was in a car accident. He swatted at a bee and a split second later drove through a telephone pole, taking out not only the pole, but most of the power in town. Rooms darkened, clocks stopped, and treadmills came to a halt as he called me on his cell phone and cried weakly, “I crashed, come get me.” The air bag saved his life.
When I saw the truck, I was amazed that he had survived unharmed. Standing on the street corner as the paramedics looked over my oldest child, I realized everything had changed the moment that bee flew into the car. It was the moment that all mothers dread; recognizing our own limits, realizing we are mere mortals who, try as we may, cannot protect our children from the dangers of the world. How on earth can I possibly keep my three children safe when something as small as a bee can land a telephone pole on their heads?
That’s when I decided to sign up for the Nike Woman’s Marathon; it became my way of making myself stronger, more powerful. I think somewhere deep inside I’m thinking I can regain control; that if I work hard enough I can become Superwoman and conquer the bee.