Today was the big day: the Jog-A-Thon! Ian did a great job and met his goal exactly by finishing with 14 laps in the 20 minutes. (The track is 200 meters – I’ll let others who enjoy math more than I do figure that one out.)
I volunteered to work the event and was on the morning shift, which worked out quite well since Ian’s class ran just after 9am. There’s definitely a pattern with these little athletes: They come out the gate really strong. As in, really WAY too strong. Then, by the end of the first lap or halfway into the second, they are on their first walking break. So the volunteer/parent mantra of the day is yelling out to the kids, “Pace yourself! Slow down!” Or when they were at the start line at our area – the little pep talk: “Now remember, don’t go too fast or you’ll get tired quickly…you have 20 minutes to run…slow and steady wins the race…” Yeah, well, we might as well be talking to a group of over-eager elementary school kids because… Oh, wait – maybe that was the problem?
For some crazy reason, Mother Nature decided to bless us with not one, but two beautiful days this weekend where it actually pretended to be spring for real: sunshine, blue skies, flowers coming into full bloom. In fact, it was three days – including today – but given that I spent my day inside, I only really count Saturday and Sunday.
And just to show how deprived we are, it was the talk of our office this morning. And, I’d bet money on the fact that it was the talk of almost every other office in Portland this morning. Across town, conversations went something like this:
How was your weekend? It was wonderful! How could it not have been with that weather??
I know, I know. I spent all weekend outside doing XX…
Even better, if we were to be granted two days in a row of sunny, “warm” weather (low to mid-60s), I was delighted that it happened the weekend of Ian’s first t-ball game on Saturday morning and Easter on Sunday.
A few months ago my friend at work who is a former stay-at-home-mom (and in the process of becoming a single mom) asked me if I ever felt guilty about the time I spend at work away from my kids. It took me approximately .53 seconds to answer, “No.”
Having been through the stay-at-home mom (SAHM) routine longer than I originally intended made me 185% certain that I am not SAHM material. I refuse to feel guilty about saying that I don’t want to spend 24/7 with my children. I need another outlet. Some don’t. I do. It makes me a better mother. That, I know. To each their own.
It helps that I have a job that fulfills me, and that both of my children are in places that both Jeff and I feel at peace with in terms of knowing that it fulfills their needs. One day not too long ago I left work a little early and picked Ian up from after-school care. His greeting: “Mommy, why are you here early today? I didn’t get to finish playing…” And while Elena often greets us very enthusiastically, we don’t leave the building before she proactively hugs every teacher in sight who bid her farewell by name. She’s happy, and that makes us happy. However, had my friend asked me that same question earlier this evening, for the first time since I’ve been back to work, I may have hesitated with my answer.
I think for the first time this summer we are having several consecutive days of temperatures in the high 70s/low 80s. It’s so nice. Though, Portland being by far the coolest climate I’ve ever lived in, it’s funny how quickly your body adapts. Before you know it, 60 seems like 70, 70 like 80, etc. Case in point: Yesterday a friend and I went outside to eat our lunch on a bench and I would have almost bet my life that it was at least 85. Instead, we later found out it was in the low 70s. Which means that I definitely have a future in broadcast meteorology, if I want one.
Anyway, when I left work this afternoon it was glorious outside, as it has been recently. Instead of my usual way out, I departed in the opposite direction because I was headed down to the NW 23rd Street area for first-ever (in Portland) weekday haircut. (More on that in a minute.) The opposite direction winds you through some back roads around Hoyt Arboretum and through some lovely neighborhoods. For the uninitiated, the Arboretum, part of which is basically across the street from the zoo’s parking lot, encompasses – among other things – 21 trails covering 12 miles within 187 acres. All inside the City of Portland.