It’s Sunday morning at 8:30 am and I’m sitting at the kitchen table in my pajamas writing a blog post. This is odd if only because this is the time usually reserved in my hectic schedule for plodding through the streets in neon fabrics and getting sweaty in the trails with my friends. I’ve taken a week off so far hoping that the rest and light cross-training I’ve been doing will improve the situation with my legs… which are still bugging me. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve narrowed the problem down to a sciatic nerve issue. It’s not pinched. It’s not compressed. It’s just irritated because I’ve let my core strength fall below the threshold whereby the abuse I put my body through is mitigated by strong muscles that prevent too much injury. The balance has been tipped, and I need to rest, strengthen, and rebuild before I start pushing myself back into the winter of training. So, I’m missing my Sunday run. And this probably means I’ve written off the whole “half-per-month” plan as I would probably die on the side of the route if I tried a half right now. Frustration fills my legs as they itch to get out on a trail, but that is quickly countered by a familiar tingling in my tissues. Soon… but not too soon. *sigh*
I’ve been sick. Actually, I’ve been successively sick for a couple weeks now, Claire and I trading colds and stomach bugs for most of that time, my running sadly falling off the wagon (and likely resulting in me not running the half marathon this weekend and thus putting my body into a recovery shock that would probably end with me in a Calgary hospital) and unfairly overlapping more often with weekends and statutory holidays and thus minimal sick days. I’ve been sick for a couple weeks. But I’ve been particularly sick this week when a few days back some kind of critter colony decided to take up residence in my digestive system and wreak havoc there. I’ll spare you the details.
Yesterday was a scheduled daddy-daughter day, a pleasure I retained despite being only half recovered from my ick-filled Remembrance Day of prone, semi-conscious nausea and dehydration-induced head-pain spent on the couch. (Don’t ask, because I won’t tell.) But by yesterday I was mostly improved. Tired, but able enough (I supposed) to hobble around the house and keep a two year old out of trouble.
But Claire, it seemed, had her own ace-up-the-sleeve: she opted to look after her dad rather than vice-versa. You probably thought I was going to tell the tale of my day of pain looking after a holy-terror of a child. But no. She was quite the opposite. It started simple, she fetching my drink from the table, asking me repeatedly if I was “better, daddy?”, and being extra quiet and less fidgety than average. Then she surprised me by taking herself to the WC no less than four times over the course of the day, each time with little more than a “do you need to use the potty?” query from me. She would hop off the couch — or dash from her play — and hold up a stop-hand to me saying: “you stay” as she trotted off and managed her business as I sat in a fatigued lump on the floor listening for the inevitable flush — and of course retrieving her own reward jellybean from the counter, too. But by far, the most remarkable event of the afternoon was when, shortly after lunch, I told her that I was tired and that, maybe, we should both have naps. “Do you want me to read you a story?” I asked. “Or do you just want to go to bed?” “No.” she said as he trotted off to her room. She again held up her hand to me this time saying, “Daddy, self.” And when I went to check on her a few minutes later I found she had turned off her bedroom light, crawled into her bed, and put herself to sleep for a pleasant ninety minute nap. Re-read that if you want: she put herself to bed. Awesomeness. And I even got some sleep myself following that.
I don’t know if (in the grand scheme of kids around the world) this is impressive or not. It is relatively impressive. Impressive for us. And it is especially impressive considering that when Karin came home from work the metaphorical switch flipped and daddy’s little angel became mommy’s little handful. But I always kind of figured that parenting would be filled with these amazing little stories of kid-awesomeness scattered here and there throughout the adventure.
Typically I step back from the hypocritical whining of the Monday-Morning Distressor. Yes, mondays are painful, dragging oneself to work after a weekend of whateverness, but they are also repetitive, predictable, and inevitable. There is rarely ever cause to fluster one’s emotions over the return of the work-week illusionstate.
But this was a weekend.
A real weekend. A painful weekend of late-dancing-or-driving-nights, ten-kilometer-early morning-runs, box-hauling afternoons, and long winded days of too much food that I wouldn’t normally eat.
This morning I woke up at 4:30, walking to get a glass of water from the bathroom, crashing into doors in a combination of groggy-barely-awakeness and I-can-feel-every-muscle-in-my-body pain-ness. That’s what the weekend did to me.
It’s not that I’m out of shape. It’s that these types of weekends are meant to be spread out over three or four. Saturday mornings are for visiting the pancake house for a stack of blueberry waffles, not moving six truckloads of moving boxes and dislodging someone’s trailer hitch from where it detatched from the bulb and rammed through the torn metal of his tailgate. Sunday afternoon are for sitting in Starbucks with a coffee and the weekender section of the newspaper, not running through the rolling river-valley of Red Deer. Friday nights, are meant for parties, which is where we were, and that’s okay, too.
It was all good. And every once in a while we need a weekend like that to remind us why we dislike Mondays, perhaps, occasionally: because we seem to be one step closer to the next painful weekend.
On a different note: Kudos out to Mom and Dad, and Aunt Laurie and Uncle Dale who all pledged us money for the run on Sunday. Our team raised a cool $300. And our event (the Red Deer Terry Fox Run) raised a whopping $23,000!