Epilogue: Running to the Airport

     In all fairness, this blog entry is only a little about my running efforts. Since my grand debut into the racing world, I have continued to run 3-4 times per week with mostly unimpressive times and lackluster performance. Except for one day a couple of weeks ago when I decided to run after partaking in a couple of glasses of wine. It was certainly not the sequence I had intended, but it was more than I could do to refuse a drink when my husband arrived at home with a bottle in hand after my daughter successfully consumed a penny. She’d been enjoying some quality alone time during a timeout in her room, and had naturally decided to try to hold a penny in her cheek. She became distressed when she discovered she’s no chipmunk. Apparently, as long as the child is not choking this is not an emergency, and I was reassured that she required no further intervention other than perhaps further clarification on the perils of inedible objects in one’s mouth. Anyway, with two glasses of wine and the stresses of the day a fading memory, I headed out for my run. In defiance of all sound medical advice and logical arguments, I managed to happily jog around the subdivision with my fastest times ever without stopping. I logged 2 miles in under 24 minutes with my lightning fast pace of 11:35 per mile. The alcohol also appeared to have a significant drying effect as I did not even reach for a tissue until the end of my loop, and I think my lower half stayed dry, too, though I can’t be completely sure. How exactly this was accomplished may forever remain a medical mystery.
    My children occasionally nudge me toward that glass of wine. They intentionally push my buttons and know exactly when to feign traumatic lifelong scarring by the imposition of a few meager boundaries. They are brilliant and sweet hearted masters of manipulation who still somehow manage to bring joy and meaning to my life.  I love them both dearly, and would lay down my life for them without hesitation, but this morning I could not get them to the airport fast enough. My parents graciously decided months ago to watch my little darlings for 2 weeks while my husband and I take a much needed vacation to Hawaii.  I am well aware that when they return my children to me at the end of this adventure, they will likely be convinced that my husband and I have failed miserably in our child rearing capabilities and will have found our offspring to be lacking in general morality, cleanliness, and any form of manners. I am prepared to help locate counseling services for them when this is over. I tried to caution my parents as they do not appear to fully grasp the devious and scheming aptitude of my little bundles of joy, but they have already agreed and it is too late to back out now. This is my celebration of life vacation; my “wellness tour.” Though unintentional, in the nearly 10 years since our son was born, my husband and I have not had a single night together away from our kids, unless you count my various hospitalizations. I tried to convince myself that they counted, to make the 10 years sound less pathetic, but they really don’t count. It is a gross underestimation to say that I am excited about this trip. Even my children are elated to be getting some time away from mom and dad, as my son ever so subtly informed me yesterday. My kids and my mother had a 6AM flight to Pennsylvania to catch, and this morning I was bound and determined to do my part to secure their safe and timely departure.
     My alarm went off at 3AM but there was zero risk of me hitting the snooze. I leaped out of bed, threw on yesterday’s clothes, and rushed to get everyone else clothed, fed and out the door. I was a sleep deprived mom with tunnel vision, and was not about to be waylaid from my primary mission of the day. My daughter tried to throw me off course by spilling her apple juice over the entirety of the breakfast area flooring, making passage impossible without loudly sticking to the hardwood. I scrambled to blot the mess with half a dozen paper towels and left it to deal with later, while I shooed everyone toward the car. The normal brushing of teeth and hair were deemed impossible extraneous activities at that early hour, as they usually involve some form of battle with my kids who prefer the unkempt appearance anyway. We left the house at 3:45, an acceptable 15 minutes later than I’d intended, but still ample time to deal with potential delays at check-in or security. After driving the initial 5 miles, I was forced to do an emergency mid-street U turn to retrieve the kids’ asthma medication which I’d left out in an unsuccessful attempt to remind myself to give them their morning dose. I rushed back home and had my son dart through the house, only to discover that I had, in fact, packed the breathing aids after all. I pulled them out of the suitcase and yelled at my kids to self-administer while I resumed my frantic drive back toward the airport, though at that point I was arguably in greater need of respiratory therapy than they were. I bombarded my mother with a litany of questions for any items she may have forgotten, but it didn’t matter because as long as all three passengers were present, there was no way I was turning around again. I flew our car to the airport and fortunately had no difficulty with parking or while checking-in their solitary baggage item. I deemed the first line for security line too long and forced my entourage to head to the far end of the airport for the alternate security check point, which is usually less crowded. Unfortunately, we were greeted by a similar flock of travelers at that station as well. As I stood there absorbing the numbers, a voice from above (literally, an employee shouting from the overlook one story up) shouted that there was a 3rd security line that I’d never heard of just a bit further off with zero wait time.  I immediately herded my group in the farther off direction of the security utopia and thankfully saw what I needed. Empty lines and empty agents. The Hallelujah Chorus began to resonate in my head. My trio skipped forward, and my son jumped for joy and clicked his heels together on his way to the podium and I took their photo.

Excited kids…is it permissible to hang on the podium?

 To the uproars of the other travelers gathering in line behind them, my daughter proclaimed, “MOM! You can LEAVE now!” She took her sticker from the security guard, and lovingly waved a hand and stuck her tongue out in my direction. My kids. I love them to bits, but I am so happy I could cry!

My daughter’s send off mid tongue thrust in my general direction


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