Friday, April 27, 2012

I Am a Runner

Even typing that title gives me anxiety.  Never in a million years would I have thought I could EVER describe myself as a runner.  It is hard.  It is exhausting.  And it makes me feel so, so strong.

Usually I run about three times a week.  I am up to running a little over two miles without stopping, but my goal is three; this is because I'll be running a 5K in two weeks.  It's only my second time to run the 5K - the first time was two years ago, and I cried running across the finish line.  I literally could not believe I had done it.  I just never saw myself as a "runner" because runners are thin, athletic, and their jeans always fit.  They don't drink beer or crave Andy's frozen custard on a daily basis.

Yesterday Miles and I went to the MKT together.  He sucked on a frozen piece of honeydew melon for most of the run while also babbling at the trees and birds and other trail goers.  I ran two miles without stop, and the last half mile was a killer.  Pushing an extra twenty-some pounds really takes it out of your energy level!

When I run in my neighborhood, I have a mile course I've plotted out for myself that I run at least twice.  There are some slight hills that I feel lend a sense of reality of what the 5K course will be like.  I usually run around 7:15 in the evening, after helping get Miles ready for bed.  I throw on my jogging bra, lace up my pink Nikes, and head out the door, turning right out the driveway. 

I only walk for thirty seconds or so before getting started.  There are very distinct smells at every section of my course - downwind of Sonic it smells like a carnival, greasy fried food and dust.  Later on there's a spot that usually smells like spray paint, and about six houses down from ours the air smells like Ramen noodles every single time.  My favorite smells are when someone is cutting their lawn, and when I wipe the sweat off my face around mile one, my hands smell like Johnson & Johnson lavendar baby lotion. This make me think of Miles and always brings a smile to my face.

But what I love best about running is that it's not for anyone else but me.  Unlike everything else in my life, no one else depends on my success.  It feels strange to be committed to this new addiction of mine.  And really good to do something both healthy and completely selfish. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Green (and Gold) Day

Sometimes when I imagine what it'll be like to leave Rock Bridge / Columbia, I imagine Green Day singing "Time of Your Life" as a montage of clips scroll by - me with my students and friends living it up in Columbia, my home of the last seven years. 

Sometimes, like today, the sadness squeezes so tight that I don't think I can hold back the tears for one more minute. 

I have been slowly cleaning out desk drawers, folders and file cabinets - recycling, giving away and packing all the crap I've inexpicably held onto for the past several years.  There are papers from kids who are gone - dead or graduated, and papers from kids I had forgetten all about.  Old lesson plan books, conference notes and handouts all serve as reminders of who I was and am as a teacher, what a huge part of my life has been all about. 

It's making me sentimental, and I'm trying not to romanticize it all, but taking this step is huge and scary. 
I'm sad.
Leaving is going to be really, really hard. 
I got choked up today, reading a story from a book about Vietnam called The Things They Carried that has never made me emotional before.  I realized it's because this may be the last time I'll teach this story, this book, this unit.  It's about saying good-bye.  Not just to the kids or my classroom of the last seven years, or even this school.  But to everyone I know here, my town, my second home. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hello, Blog

It has been a looooong time since I've last blogged.  I'm not sure why - I hate when people say they've been too busy to do something.  (If it means something to you, you'll make time for it.)  So I won't use that excuse.  But life does get in the way sometimes of even the best intentions.

Miles is growing and changing and becoming a sweet little boy, no longer the little baby I used to rock and cuddle and kiss. I still rock and cuddle and kiss on him - every chance I get.  But usually that's followed by him squirming away or getting distracted by someone or something else.  Now we bond by playing games and giggling, belly laughing at each other, and making messes.  It is so fun to be his mom, which innevitably gets me thinking about the possibility of having another. 

When I think about whether or not I'd like to give Miles a little brother or sister, the answer is yes! When I ask myself if I'm willing to go through the pregnancy and birth again, the answer is yes! But when I'm honest about wanting to go through the baby part again, I'm not sure.  I loved Miles from the second I knew he was inside me - and that love only intensifies every day, with each smile, toddle, nose crinkle, love pat and babble.  But what if we had another kid who was not as cool as Miles?  What if I loved him / her differently?  Those first six months are really, really hard. 

I know I don't have to decide now, or even next month.  But it makes me feel a little guilty, thinking about not giving him a sibling.  I know many people grow up just fine being an only child, but I also know how much I love and appreciate having a sister.  It's an option on the horizon, which is where I'll keep it for now...