Monday, July 15, 2013

Looking forward to the 2028 Olympics

It's hard when you have a child not to project your delusions of grandeur on them.

My lovely boy is 3 and already had shown us that he is a natural at not one, but two sports. He can control a soccer ball at full speed and also swim like a fish. Neither one was brought on by any lessons, but just a natural ability. Really.

Sure, we took him to a mommy and me swim class where he launched himself into the pool despite not knowing how to float. It was interesting when all the other 1 year olds were screaming as their parents dipped them into the water. Our boy cried when we took him out. A swimmer myself, I not so secretly was ecstatic. I learned to swim at 3, and pretty much lived in the water as much as possible. I raced in my youth, and as an adult joined a Masters swim team for a short bit. Even when I asked if he wanted to be a swimmer or diver and he said diver I did not cringe or cry. Hey, diving looks more fun. I get that. Last week was a big week for us. Or the week before, it's summer and I just finished up working a bunch of gigs so I really have no concept of time right now. But after seeing our friend's video of their daughter--age 5--going off a spring board, I decided to see if my boy could do it. I convinced the lifeguard to let my son go off at our local pool and into the dive well. Even though there is no way he could pass the swim test (25 yard swim, tread water for 1 minute), the lifeguards had seen my boy swim a lot and belly flop continuously into the pool for months. Since there was no one else in the pool (indoor pool, beautiful day) they agreed to let him go off once. ONCE. I drilled this into D's head just in case he loved it and decided to throw a huge tantrum if he couldn't do it again.

I went off first, to show him it wasn't that bad. Too bad I forgot that I'm scared of heights. One reason I never tried out for the diving team. And spring boards are really springy. It sounds stupid, but the competition ones (which this ones was) really move when you are on them. It's not just a plank like you may have in your inground pool. (By the way, I hate you if you have an inground pool.) But I went in, and then urged my little boy out onto the board, which was about 6 feet over the water.

Side note: please do not call DSS, my son was more than willing, can swim, and we had the lifeguard's permission.

So, the lifeguard kept reminding my boy that he could always just go back down the ladder, no big deal. I also said this, but urged him to jump in. After two minutes of considering it, he launched himself into the air and jumped in. It was awesome. He popped up smiling and swam over to the ladder, pushing me away when I tried to help. He said, just once to the lifeguard and then took a running leap back into the pool.

Of course, proud mamma bear that I am called my husband and told him immediately. Then I picked up a diving team brochure (2 years to go before he can join!). At home, in our Intext 8 foot pool, where we splash away our summer, D was happily swimming around, diving under the foam noodles. When my husband got home from work, D asked, "hey daddy, wanna see me back flip?"  Thinking that D was just going to spin around going "whooooosh!" like most kids (I know I still do a round off back handspring back tuck like that) he didn't pay much attention, but said sure. Why not. Then D did a back flip in the water. He had just figured it out. At this point, I'm looking up private schools with 1st grade swim teams, but also trying not to push him.

Especially because he is the same way with soccer. I have never kicked a soccer ball in a real game--gym glass maybe. But husband played all his life and still is part of a team today. We go and watch and D runs on the field and plays during warm up. Except he is warming up with the team. With them. Kicking balls, doing fancy footwork stuff (see how much I know about soccer--stuff). But the team keeps saying to

Of course the boy is 3. Maybe he's peaking. God I hope not, because I've already begun to campaign for Boston to host the Olympic summer games in 2028. D will be 18 and I think he has a shot.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Twitter speak

I just went to Twitter to post a bunch of things then remembered. I sort of have a blog.

So here are a few things in my head this morning.

1. It was really hard for me to leave my house this morning. I just wanted to stay home. I ended up running back into the house two times for my water bottle and phone and got to walk (sprint) through the back door area where all the herbs are in pots waiting to be put into the ground. The lilac and dogwoods are blooming. It was a cloudless, blue, May sky and the sun was rising. I could smell spring and my trowel and gardening gloves were laying on my gardening bench waiting for me.

2. Even though I ended up leaving fairly late (I hate that 6:55 AM is late) I got my free parking spot at the station. This is a always a sign of a good day.

3. This week I began walking from North Station to my office in Chinatown. It's just over 1 3/4 miles, so I end up walking about 3 miles total there and back. I get to see a lot of Boston I forgot was there, discover new things, and just look up in awe at the truly uniqueness of the city's architecture. I mean, 300 year old buildings next to giant glass skyscrapers. Pretty cool.

4. This is the season of birthdays. Friday is my father's 71st birthday and Sunday is my nephew's 7th birthday. I got them the same gift. gift cards. The future is weird.

5. I went to the and tried to read two articles that caught my eye. I couldn't because I don't subscribe. I thought about purchasing an online subscription, but it's pretty pricey for online only. Sure, the first four weeks are $0.99 a week, but after that it's $4 a week! $16 dollars a month is more than double what I pay for unlimited movies streamed directly into my TV per month. It's half the price of my gym membership. And about 4 lattes. hmmm. Perhaps I should reconsider.

6. I am in a month of meetings making me feel very hectic. However, last week the stress transformed into a "can't control it, screw it" mentality and I am no longer a person who rushes around. Or has much memory for details. Or can plan more than 48 hours in advance. Which is why we still have no concrete plans in our house to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary this weekend. Although I think we may have a babysitter. I'm not sure. If all else fails, we are invited to a BBQ Saturday evening where we can just relax. Our tentative plans are dinner at a steak house and seeing the new Star Trek movie. I am pretty excited about it. It's like...a date!

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year, new adventure!

Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season was less stressful than mine. I hope next year I remember I don't really like the holidays anymore and book a flight to St. Martin or something for Christmas. It's hard being Santa. That's all I will say about that.

But this new year brings a new adventure for me. My first winter vacation. This weekend we are headed to the Rocky Mountains for a full week of winter sports. Dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, and the never-more-to-be-dreaded skiing. I will finally try out skiing in the west, and see if it is better than East Coast. I am hoping for the sake of my vacation that it is much, much better. As in don't throw my back out better.

Usually we hit the beach in the winter, but I'm very pale and can't really do that too much. I've never seen the Rockies, and am excited to see Vail and Boulder. I hope the little guy is excited too!

So far we've spent more than the price of our flights on gear. New jackets, snowpants, boots, long underwear, hats, gloves, socks. If I were going to the beach it would just be a bikini and cover up. Winter vacations are expensive!

But this is the year for new things. On New Year's Day I jumped into the freezing Atlantic Ocean to celebrate this. Yes, it was cold. And no, the air temperature did not make the water seem warmer than it was. I think that is just a giant freaking lie. The sand was the worst part. I don't have water shoes and the sand was like tiny, extra-sharp knives digging into my soft winter feet. The polar plunge was after I ran a 10K (under an hour, half hungover!) so I can confidently say 2013 is the year it all changes for me.

Adventure awaits!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Advancing Milestones

I think that all parents are secretly waiting for the child to grow up so they can do things for themselves. Or at least grow up to the stage when the kid can do fun things. Trust me, lying around with your baby is fun, but only because you are lying around watching something cute. Lying around watching your kid cook dinner is more fun though. As evidenced by my friend's FB post this weekend. His son (I'm going to guess 9 because I have no idea and it doesnt seem possible he can have a 13 year old daughter and a 9 year old son as we just graduated from college. Twelve and half years ago...), anyway, his son cooked  tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner while he got to sit down. His obvious pleasure in this relaxation was marked by the posting itself.

I love every stage of my son's development (except 3 months of his 2s that already occurred) and am looking forward to every coming stage. I loved the plant stage when he just sat and drooled and smiled. The I'm going to crawl, nope walking is for me stage. The talking. The soccer kicking. And I can't wait until he is 6 and on teams and such. Right now is pretty cool too. He just started swimming this weekend.

We've had him in the water since he was an infant. He took his first swimming lessons at a year, and did really well. They told us not to bring him back until he was 4, as he had already mastered the baby basics. Which isn't too much stuff. Put face in water. Blow bubbles. He also jumped in holding our hands. We didn't sign him up to be an Olympic athlete. He loves the water and had a habit of trying to walk on it. It was for safety reasons. He just has no fear of water. Which is terrifying for a parent. At Walden Pond he walks right into the water up to his chin. The kid just loves it.

This weekend we took him swimming for the first time since September. I decided a swim day was in order as he has been practicing "diving" in the bathtub. It creates a huge tidal wave over the entire bathroom, and needless to say I don't clean the bathroom as the floor is constantly wet, and therefore clean. He also has been floating on his back, so I figure, what they hey, I'll see if he will float in the pool. Well, he wouldn't. No way. Not on his back. But he did go right down the steps into the water with a noodle and take off. He pushed the noodle under his arms and did a lap. Yup, a 50 yards. After a while we took the noodle away to see if he would float and, again, he would not. At this point we were in the deep end and the diving team was practicing in the dive well. When he saw the diver, he was captivated. He hung onto the side of the pool. We were right underneath the blocks, and I was hanging off the end, pretending like I was going to start the backstroke. He saw me, and wanted to do the same. He kept pulling himself up and lowering himself into the water each time a diver went off the board. As there were 2 spring boards and 1 platforms going at the same time, he did a lot of pull ups. We asked if he wanted to learn how to dive and, man, he did!

I've always loved swimming and learned to dive when I was 8. Not spring board competitive diving, just off the blocks to start a race. I modeled a small dive, and actually didn't dive at all just fell on my side. It was enough, however, to get yelled at by the lifeguard. Then Dylan jumped in, holding our hands. What was different than any other time was that he popped back up to the surface instead of hanging out underwater like infants do. A few more times and he let go of our hands jumping in. The next time after that, he didn't grab for us when he surfaced. He tred water. And then doggie paddled to the side. It was awesome.

Being good parents of the millennium, it's all documented. Pictures, video, FB within the hour. Our son will be able to watch his first strokes. We took him back the next day just to reinforce the swimming and it was still awesome.

And now, he's closer to 3 than 2. He sleeps in a big boy bed and wears big boy underpants some days. He would rather watch Power Rangers than Barney. He's still so little, but not a baby. We have a porch half filled of his old stuff ready to be sold at a yard sale next spring. High chair, toys, stroller. It doesn't seem possible that he could have anything old yet. He's only been alive for 2 1/2 years. As he searched for a comfortable spot on my shoulder last night, I couldn't help but see the reason he couldn't find one was because he was too tall. Finally, I fully reclined the chair and he stretched out, and rested his blonde little head on my shoulder as we read a Clifford book.

Every milestone he reaches is great, but it's a reminder that he will one day be a grown man. No matter how hard I hold on, he will keep growing and changing. I guess it's up to me to savor every memory he gives me, and remind him that he is my little boy.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Lights

We got our tree last Saturday, and last night (Thursday) I remembered that we are supposed to water it. Sorry Mr. Tree. I also realized I should bring my plants off the 3-season porch as it's been below freezing at night now for a few days. The bamboo was white, but everything else was doing well. The porch heats up pretty well during the day. It's 6 patio doors instead of window, all southern facing. Nice in the summer. Would be nicer if the doors weren't used sliders that were 40 years old, but it's not even close to being on the top of the fix-it list.

But like I said, we have our tree. And it's wonderful. It is between the kitchen and living room, which are adjoining, so you can enjoy it in two rooms at once. This is a very big thing for me, because we have previously always shoved it into a corner where you can't see it. And I dont like not seeing the tree during the holidays. If you take the time to go get a tree (and we get a real one), decorate it, and water it (mostly), you should be able to enjoy it. The past two nights I have not even turned on the TV, preferring to sit in front of the unlit fireplace and read, occassionally looking up at the tree. And the Christmas stockings!

This year I finally splurged on Christmas stockings. It was actually on my calendar in October to buy them because last year I got shut out of the ones I wanted at Pottery Barn Kids. We have the woodland velvet ones, with Santa, an owl, and ribbons. I fully intend to never buy stockings again as a) I love these b) they are really good quality c) they were freaking expensive.

But this weekend is the outside of the house. We need to do the lights. Last year we left the nails in the siding to string up the eaves, so I am hoping it won't take long. However, we discovered boxes and boxes of lights in our garage from our many apartments before our house, and I believe dear husband wants to go crazy. I think I will watch from my living room. I just need to hide the green LED lights he thinks look good over the bushes.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Birthday weekend

The mid point of the 30s looms. On Sunday I will be 35, and it seems like such a big number. If I look back 20 years I'm a teenager. That's freaky.

I love my 30s though. They are fun and stable, a time where I have grown more than ever. In this past year I have worked on my career more than ever before. I found myself pulling all nighters, routinely working until 1 or 2 am and putting out work that I was consistently proud of. I pulled in my dream gig, even though it was only temporary. Who knew I wanted to write history textbooks so badly!?

As the project wound down, I saw that I had a severe imbalance in my life. I hadn't ignored my family so much as compartmentalized them. By putting my time into such chunks [journal work 8-4, commute 4-5:30, child time 5:30-7, meetings and writing 7-1, snooze, run 5-6, commute 6:30-8] work was being given the bigger chunks. My child grew and I saw him and noticed, I needed to be more present. So in not picking up another project right away, and by getting another day at home lessening my commute, I am trying to be present.

But wow is it hard. It's so hard I even took a course about life balancing. I saw I needed to change my goal and direction. Two years ago, I saw the perfect life as working at home with a baby on my lap. Well, that baby had grown into a charming and energetic toddler who doesnt want to sit on my lap. He wants me to chase him around soccer fields, play knights with him, and read. He is tired of the email chime on my phone because he knows I have to pause in our search for the dragon. November was a month for me to realign myself, but of course the universe threw more at me to deal with.

Stomach bugs, overscheduled weekends, holidays, bad family news, depression. Over half of my calendar has things written on it to do. Even putting away clothes has bogged me down (you do not want to see the floor of my room right now--in fact, you can't). And the littlest thing is setting me off.

So, as I hit 35 this weekend, I am looking for a new perfect life vision. I know it has to do with writing, but the list of what I don't want or will put up with anymore is forcing me to look beyond what I've been doing and take some risks. I am hoping I am prepared.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fall injuries

It's race season! The first weekend of fall I cruise through and try to fill up my weekend with races. 5ks, 10ks, half-marathons. This year I've added some obstacle course races as well.From September 8 through November 18 I'm already signed up for 6 races and will probably add 4 more. Then, once I push pay for the non-refundable course fees, I get injured.

OK, it didnt go quite like that, and I've already done 3 of my races. But the point is, my leg freaking hurts. It's been hurting since August. I have plantar fasciitis which is a new sciencey way of saying I'm old and my arches have fallen. When your arches fall it affects the your calf. The only cure is to stretch along, stop running and/or tape up your foot to create new arches. Which is what I've been doing. But it still feels like a knife is being pushed into my heel and that my Achilles may snap.I gave it a rest the last weeks of August and borrowed one of those rolly things to massage it (ouch) and it's better. The pain now radiates up my leg, but less intensely.

All summer I trained and didnt race. It was too hot, I was too busy. Now that I'm ready to compete Im hurt. Nothing has made me feel old like this ever. Not even my joints popping when I reach to get something off the floor.

But, despite being in pain, I did the Shape Diva Dash in Boston, the Maynard 5K, and the Orchard House 10K. One was easy, one I was hung over for, and the other I was tired for but glad I did and made my secondary goal (which is the realistic one). I am not hitting any PRs this year, but still have a half marathon or two to go.