Tag Archives: Jr. High

Running behind 

I signed up for another race – mostly because I want to eat and not lose any of the momentum from finishing the triathlon and partly because the next race in October is with very dear friends and its to run over the Astoria Bridge so it involves a weekend away with my spouse.

Finishing the triathlon is not a sentance that my jr. high self would have envisioned – proof that jr. high, while generally miserable, is thankfully not the sum total of existance.  My eldest is going into fourth grade so we have two years left to pour in quality while she is still sane. And then according to my wise mother the goal in middle school is to just get them through it. 

The next race is a 10K.   I ran one several years ago.   I came in dead last.   I’d prefer not to be last again.   Near the end of the crowd is okay. Last, not so much.    I had a hard time this week getting into the gym during the day.   The Scramble for the Kids is on Monday and so this last week was full of a myriad of details.   As a result, two of my excercise attempts happened late evening after the three year old went to bed.    Couple days ago the nine year old wanted to know if she could come along.      I paused.   Sometimes I run because I need a break.   And last time she ran with me it involved more of me dragging her than actual running.  But the jr. high kid in me wants my daughter’s jr. high experience to include fewer painful PE moments than mine had.   Plus the fact that she wants to run with me is a a great honor.   So I said sure.

She did great.  We ran 2 miles in 25 minutes and were still friends when we came back home.

The almost 4th grader asked if we could run again tonight.  I said 

after dinner and after I read bedtime books to the little one  (Make Way for Ducklings, This is Not my Hat and The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore for those of you curious).   

We headed out with iPod blaring so we could both hear and I was wearing a light backpack so we could bring home treats.  I asked my spouse if a run still counts if it is to the store for ice cream. He said yes. Points for the husband!

We paused at the corner because the sunset was gorgeous.  The nine year old had extra energy tonight because she smoked me. I had to push to keep up.     We had another mid run pause to pick up pints of ice cream  (Peanut Butter Cup, Heath Toffee and cookie dough…go big!).   Ran home with ice cream bumping off my back 

This two miles we dropped 4 1/2 minutes off our time.  Seriously should add ice cream to every run. Actually I think the fact that I was chasing her down the whole time pushed us both to speed up. 

She talked me through all the post run stretches and then we sat on the couch and ate bowls of ice cream and then I dove back into golf details.  And now the house is quiet, the girls are asleep and I’m grateful for today – for reading and laundry and errands and nap time and quiet moments with my spouse. And for the run. I’m grateful. 

  Our pastor says that parenting is not for wimps.  And so we run.  And eat ice cream.  


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Filed under Books, Family, Food, Running


I was two years old when I got glasses for the first time. The story goes that when we left the eye doctor wearing my brand new glasses that I pointed at the trees and said “Mama, look. The trees have leaves.”  I do not remember this but I believe it.  I know what trees look like now with my contacts out, a lot like shapeless blobs.

Apparently in 1977 glasses for little girls did not exist.  My father drove to every eyeglass store in town but only dark brown frames could be found.  I was young enough I didn’t care.  Growing up I had two very minor eye surgeries.  I remember after one of them, my doctor put an eye patch on my teddy bear so we’d match.

A mean kid in junior high thought it was funny to call me fish eye.  I’m not entirely sure what that meant.  I think he wanted to be mean but didn’t have a large enough vocabulary to come up with something more creative.   A year later  a friend and I decided it would be cool if we got matching glasses.  Odd I know but that’s middle school for you.

After about 18 years of wearing glasses I’d had it and contact solution became a part of my daily life.  I cheered the first time I got to wear sunglasses.  I wear a pair now almost all the time in the car partly for sun glare and partly as a continued celebration.

I’ve thought about getting lasic surgery but the cost and hassle are barriers I haven’t leapt and doubt I will.  I’d like to and I’m grateful to have the option if it ever becomes a priority.

Very few people in Rwanda wear glasses.  I don’t think its because their eyes are all better than mine.   Medical care is limited in Rwanda.   Glasses, hearing aids or braces are luxuries.  I think the little guy in this photo is just playing around.  He probably was just mimicking the Americans who had descended.  It is not that he’s a child who can’t see.   I hope so.   This perspective is the kind of thing that makes you see…better than brand new glasses.


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