Day Eleven

The Susan Komen folks are relentless with their chipper update emails which make it increasingly harder for me to procrastinate about my training and fundraising. I am one hundred percent committed but the practicalities of it are eluding me. As such, it wasn’t until I received the five week countdown email that I felt compelled to rise from bed at daybreak to hit the road.
I groggily threw on some clothes and grabbed my shoes. Downstairs, Mark was already making coffee and we chatted for a minute while I chugged some water, verified my ipod was charged and headed out. It was a beautiful, cool morning and my mood improved with each step.
Once out on the main road, I encountered other runners and bikers and greeted each one with a smile, wave, nod or a quick hello. No one was quite as outgoing as I was. Some gave me a strange look and just nodded, some looked down and didn’t acknowledge me at all. I sensed that it was more than just focus on the task at hand.
I couldn’t tell you what made me check to see if my shirt was on inside out but we will call it women’s intuition. I glanced at my right shoulder and spied the big, fat seam that runs along the underside of the shirt. Bingo. I had been calling attention to myself for nearly a mile looking like I got dressed in the dark. Which I did, of course, but all these other folks had too. And they managed to do it correctly.
I was alone on the road at the moment–if you didn’t count the incessant line of cars that were speeding by–and I immediately searched for a place to change my shirt. Even in relative obscurity, I was mortified. I spied a thicket of bushes a few yards up and, thankful for my diminutive stature, I snuck behind the brush, threw my ipod on the ground and whipped my shirt off, flipped it and put it back on in record time. I swiveled my head and made sure there were no audience members, checked the shirt for deodorant stains, picked up my ipod and stepped back onto the sidewalk. If the person running towards me a short distance ahead had any questions about why I had emerged from the bushes, they never gave a sign of it as they passed me a few moments later. I kept my head high and waved.
With my wardrobe malfunction behind me, I got into a zone and finished five and a half miles in record time. I made sure to reserve some energy as I was hosting four other boys for a play date that included the pool and lunch.
By noon I was at the pool with all seven boys. Even better, my mom had stayed behind at the house with plans to clean out the fridge and the pantry. Mark will forever wonder why this need for cleanliness and organization did not get passed along the gene pool from my mother to me.
With the boys entertaining themselves in the nearly empty pool, I settled in to read my book. That lasted a mere fifteen minutes. “We’re hungry” they all chimed as the lifeguard whistled for adult swim. Since the snack bar was inexplicably closed in the middle of the day, I called Papa John’s for delivery. I made the executive decision to order without giving the boys a vote on toppings and distracted them by throwing a huge passel of assorted bags of chips and juice boxes at them.
Just then another group of three boys walked in. You could almost hear the lifeguards groan as the number of boys increased. As I looked around I realized that there were no girls at the pool at all.
The boys inhaled the pizza and then set off to swim again. I was surrounded by half eaten crusts, empty juice boxes, chips bags and two lonely pieces of pizza. I disposed of the remains in the trash ironically located under the snack bar sign that read “Hot Mama Lucia’s Pizza Available At The Snack Bar.” The heap of trash was testiment that Mama Lucia’s and the closed snack bar had missed a gold mine opportunity with the Stiles.
After lunch, my neighbor arrived with four more boys and a raucious game of basketball/dodgeball/keep-away erupted. There were now no less than eleven boys playing together at the pool and the lifeguards were on high alert. There was little chance of a water rescue but we were definitely drowning in testosterone.
My neighbor and I tried to ignore the darkening clouds because, frankly, a storm would leave us with eleven boys to entertain and no pool. And since I was responsible for seven of them, I was praying for the storm to pass. Just then a whistle sounded. No one moved but I had a sinking feeling.
“Why did you blow the whistle?” my neighbor asked.
“The thunder,” the lifeguard answered haughtily.
“That wasn’t thunder,” I stammered, “I didn’t hear thunder.”
And then the lifeguard says the following, “It is my JOB to hear thunder. We are trained. We have to close the pool.”
A million snarky remarks ran through my mind like “It’s your JOB to hear thunder? Really? Trained? Are you sure you don’t just want to get out of watching the boys here multiply like rabbits?” or “It’s my JOB to make sure that seven boys on a play date stay outside at the pool and never enter my house.” But all I said was, “Are you sure?”
They were sure. The next five minutes deteriorated as I talked all eleven boys into walking down the hill home. It was a feeble attempt for both of us to delay the inevitable indoor play-date but we took whatever we could get. I stumbled through the locker room under the weight of a beach bag, a box with the leftover pizza slices, the cooler and all the shoes, towels and t-shirts that the seven boys left behind.
I raced down the hill trying to get home before the boys descended on my poor, unsuspecting mother. As I flew through
a stop sign I saw the boys streaming down the hill, darting in and out of alleys and generally asking to get hit by a car. My neighbbor and I pulled in at almost the same second and braced for the onslaught.
There is a good chance that I blacked out between the time I came in and warned my mom and the time it took for the boys to enter, change and scatter throughout the house. I tasked Mac with redirecting the fracus in the basement while I marveled at my new and improved pantry. I felt a momentary pang of guilt. My mom cleaned and organized my pantry and I rewarded her by bringing home seven boys to ruin her hard work.
As it turns out, the boys were only at my house for a little over an hour. It passed quickly enough in a daze of drinks, snacks, video games and a deafening soccer game. As I waved goodbye to the last visitor and walked back in the house I realized that I was in training every second of every day. The Komen Race may be my immediate goal but the marathon of child rearing is the real commitment.


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Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

Magnificence in the Mundane

Finding humor in kids and chaos is the best place for your personal blog or business site.

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