Monday, May 27, 2013

Morning Run

It was a relatively unphotogenic week around here with the exception of this series: Clementine Eats an Avocado.

Not pictured: clean up. I had forgotten how messy babies are when they start to eat table food. On a related note, I am finding the dog to be more useful around the house than ever before.

Also not pictured: I became obsessed with the idea of making chocolate pudding this week and had two very unphotogenic pudding disasters. I burned the first batch and then undercooked it on the second try. (Probably because my kitchen helpers were shrieking "MOM! Don't burn it!" with every swirl of the whisk. But who's pointing fingers?) At least the second disaster was edible- it was more like a cold chocolate soup, which is quite tasty but definitely not pudding. I will try again today because I am persistent when it comes to chocolate.

And then I took the camera outside for a pop of color. 

Again, not pictured: an evening of tears and tantrums and angry words and hurt feelings, of punches and kicks and ugly words. A missed opportunity to join our friends at the arcade for beer and pinball because Brent and I sat exasperated at the dinner table amid total chaos and decided that there was no way to save the evening except to put everybody to bed.

And then I woke up this morning ready to run. I haven't felt the urge to run in a very long time, despite the many kind words of encouragement and invitations from my running friends. My body has to want it and until this morning, it didn't.

I dug my running shoes out from a shoe pile in the garage and the dog went nuts. We set off into the rain and my legs felt heavy and tired. I know that if I can make it past the one mile mark I will start to feel better. I know that if I can run for the next week, I will be a runner again. And so I ignore the small spread of pain that threatens to envelop my knee and distract myself by the beauty of a rainy morning. I rarely notice the clean smell of fresh rain or the reflection of the clouds in the puddles when I am stuck inside wondering how I will keep my house-bound children occupied, but out on a run I am able to see it all through a different lens. I have missed that.

Running lets me work through the things that cloud up my mind. When I run I often get an out-of-body type experience, where it feels like I'm hovering above my moving frame. Maybe this is runners high? I am often reminded of my children's births while I run because I experienced a similar out-of-body floatiness when both Jack and Sawyer were born. For some reason this did not happen with Clementine. I was right there and in the moment during her birth and it might be because my body and I had reached an agreement. I trusted my body and my body trusted me.

As I ran this morning I contemplated this trust. And I thought of my friend who will birth her baby tomorrow and bring to the world a child who I will know and love. A child who will play with my children and whose birthday parties I will attend. A child who will sit in my classroom one day and call me Mrs. Ross. I will watch him grow and remind him that I held him when he was newly born. He will send us a graduation announcement. I will dance at his wedding.

Lu and I arrive at the intersection that determines the length of our run. If I go straight we run 4.5 miles. If I turn right we run 2. Lu pulls me forward because even though it's been over a year since we've run the longer loop, dogs don't forget running routes. I am tempted to follow, but my knee throbs and I remember that my body and I have also agreed to be kind to one another.

So we turn down a familiar street whose uneven sidewalk makes my feet dance. I know where the icy spots are on winter morning runs and which houses have easily accessible garbage cans for poop bags. The residents of this street are rarely out when I run by, but their manicured lawns and sedans suggest retirement. I round a curve and see an ambulance pull silently to a stop outside a house. I lower my eyes and pass by as a paramedic slowly lowers a stretcher to the ground.

A gust of wind pushes me from behind. I stretch my shoulders back, raise my chin, shake the cramp from my knee and fly through the misty grey morning back to the people who wait for me at home.


  1. Love your honesty and humor...and that picture you captured of Clementine looking at the avocado!

  2. Awe such cute pics of Clementine eating!