Excuse me, while I brush the dust off of my keyboard. It’s time to fire up the old blog again. What have you missed in the last few months? Nothing really, just about a ga-zillion stories that I’ll never be able to catch up on and post here for you to chuckle at. Where have I been? No, I didn’t just become bored and wander off to the next great thing…but I was distracted by one. So much so that I feel the need to get re-acquainted with my three and five-year old daughters…as their lives kept moving forward whether or not I was there to witness every milestone or growth spurt.
Growth spurt. What is that, anyway? I’ll tell you what it is. It’s when all of a sudden you put the go to, “we are in a hurry and don’t have time to discuss your outfit choices” favorite outfit that never gets rejected, and it’s too small. Not just snug…rediculous.
“When in the world did you have the time to outgrow that?” I think to myself. “How did enough time pass that I never even noticed you were starting to outgrow this?”
And that’s a growth spurt. It aggravated me in particular just recently, because I’m one of those moms that go through their kids drawers almost bi-weekly, to clear out the clutter and see where we have room to add more inventory to the wardrobe. So, it’s really rare that I’m off by a long sleeve shirt being halfway to the elbow already before it’s been removed from the drawer….or a shoe that is clearly being shoved on to the point of that painful grimace of, “I’m sorry mom…it just doesn’t fit anymore.”
One recent “outgrow” in particular made me a little misty-eyed. Brianne’s Star Wars shirt. Her favorite. I couldn’t even bring myself to pass it on to Lo, her little sister. Anticipating Brianne’s heartbroken reaction the first time Lo bounced down the stairs with it on, I took it right to her keepsake tote in the basement and put it away.
And the shoes…for a little girl to jump a shoe size in dramatic fashion is tragic. That’s not just one pair of shoes…that means new running shoes, new dress shoes, new winter boots, new casual boots, new flats, new dance shoes…
The other big version of growth spurts are what I like to tag, language spurts. Like, when my oldest daughter clearly said, “Brachiosaurus” at 18 months old. When I was tucking her in the other night, she seemed perplexed about something. “What’s up?” I asked her.
“It’s just that (we’ll just call him So and So) is always antagonizing me, Mommy. At school. And, it really bothers me because he’s always in trouble….I try to tell him what to do to do the right thing…but he just keeps being bad! It’s so annoying!” she proclaimed. Antagonizing. He’s “antagonizing” me.
Growth Spurt. All of the sudden kindergarten has arrived, and we’ve been launched into full on conversations…some topics I’m not at all ready to touch with a ten foot pole yet. Bullying on the playground, practicing cheers and dance moves 24/7…reading. When did this happy little girl with ringlet piggy-tales start to grow up like that? What could have possibly been important enough for me to be blindsided by the change, rather than partake?
Every November, I look at my husband and my closest girlfriends and I swear, “I will never do this again.” And every year, I volunteer more of myself to coaching the sport of Cross Country.
Every year, the sport becomes a bigger part of my little daughter’s childhood. Some kids have superheros they look up to…my kids admire distance runners. They’re right up there with Barbie, Snoopy and Cinderella. Every year, my dear husband adds more athletic lingo to his vocabulary. This year, he answered “what were the winning times like at state,” before I did. I thought that was hysterical.
State. State. State. The HHS XC Teams said it all season long, and I was the one leading the way this fall…teaching my team to dream big and work hard. However, when the dream started to play out in success at each Saturday meet, I was missing two very big parts of the celebration. Brianne and Lo. As a mother, you may major in other things in life, but you minor in guilt. It just comes with the territory. And I felt terribly guilty. As a Head Coach, I could really ramble about the struggles, triumphs, and changes under my watch as head coach…from Mohican dam-dams in July all the way to the State Championships in November, but I feel it would be as if I were taking credit for all that. All I did was clear the path of opportunity. It was “the runners” that had to choose to run down it. Before this season, my little girls rarely missed a Cross Country meet. I’ve pushed them in the double jogger up and down hills, kept the “potty” in the van all fall because they are scared to death of the port-0-johns (and who isn’t, honestly…ugh…), camped out in our van backed right up to the Tiffin Carnival course, donned our rain boots and consumed lots of snacks, cookies, and juice boxes watching the runners race over the years. It was lacking without them, because my little one isn’t allowed to ride the school bus yet, and my older one was too overwhelmed with transitioning to every day all day school to handle an all day XC meet on Saturday, too.
No amount of success out on the Cross Country course can fill me with more joy than I feel being clung to now that it’s over. Two little girls that have been dying to hang out with me. Color with me, make hair bows, flip pancakes on Saturday mornings, rake leaves, help with chores, go shopping….and our personal favorite…giggle like idiots. I may have missed a growth spurt of theirs, but I conquered a huge one of my own. A faith-based person, I knew God was directing me my down that path of opportunity. Every new stride was hard, but I listened and I followed, and it took me all the way to the end. State. State. State.
It’s the time of year to be thankful, and I’m thankful to God for all that He has blessed me with in this life. The most special to me, being a mom. It’s clear to me now, why I ran the direction I did this fall…growth spurt.
I will try to illumine the path for my daughters…through prayer and guidance…but not run down it for them. (maybe yelling until my head hurts for them to surge at times….) After all, all of the paths we run lead to the same place, anyway.
Home. Home. Home.