Surprise Mothe*%^*&!

Day 2.

What surprised you this year?

A year is a long time. I could probably pick out how many things surprise me daily, everyday is surprising if you really pay attention. As I racked my brain though, for a moment that really surprised me I kept coming up with moments where I lost my “cool” and couldn’t really hold in my emotions. I won’t go into much detail as there are too many for this particular post. Some regarding my children, even some long forgotten arguments with the curly one. Still none really made me feel the way remembering a very SURPRISINGLY emotional moment I felt so far from home.

I’d been running for about 12 miles. Now yes, that’s a lot of miles but it wasn’t the distance that got the best of me. Despite the less than stellar build up I had adjusted the pace to simply complete the race and take it all in. After all I didn’t travel to the other side of the country to fail. Yet it hit me like a ton of bricks. Talk about surprise. I read the first name and along with it a picture of two beautiful children smiling on what I can only guess is their Daddy’s lap. Then another picture and another. All different ranks, and along with the names the date they bid this world good bye. I had read about the “blue mile” but nothing prepared me for the overwhelming emotion I felt. I thought of my two beautiful children and how lucky I am that they don’t have to for now live in a world with out their dad or mom.

Then like a 1-2 punch after all the names and pictures a sectioned lined completely by those “gold star” families. So yes, those left behind to suffer and endure the pain that War leaves in it’s wake. I had stopped to walk during the names. I wanted to make sure and read as many as I could. The moment after I high fived a couple of the kids I knew I couldn’t help but cry and so as they cheered for me and all the other runners I had to run. As is the case when sad about war I feel guilty for being home. Especially when I’m not where I’d like to be in life just yet.

So I ran, probably faster than I should have but then again it always feels that way in the last 10K of a marathon. I reached “the bridge”, the point of no return in the Marine Corps Marathon. It means I had to finish. Right before crossing the finish line I found my son, who my wife had made sure was there to see Daddy. I hugged and kissed him and my wife took a picture of my smiling next to Daddy.

I finally crossed the finish line, a newly minted Lieutenant placed the beautiful Eagle Globe & Anchor.  It was just as sweet as the first time I earned mine. I hobbled with the rest of the runners over to the Marine Corps Memorial and I couldn’t have been prouder to be a Marine. It was not lost on me that I was extremely lucky to be walking towards my family.

You’re it!

He’d been in the pool for all of 5 min before I heard him yell out “you’re it!” which means either he or the other kids had said “Want to be friends?”

It will never cease to amaze me how fast and easy kids can make “friends”. When then do we lose that gift? As I’ve gotten older it has definitely become harder to make friends. Are my expectations too high? Or are they too low, and so I sabotage any friendship before it has any chance of growing into anything better.

I look at when I made friends: elementary school, if it wasn’t for facebook I don’t think I would speak to any of them. (I suppose I don’t really speak to them). Middle School/Jr. High I went to a school other than my homeschool so I think that may have hindered communication with some of the grade school friends. Would that be different now in the age of texting and IM’ing? High School for one reason or another I ended up going to 4 different schools. I speak to only one person from middle/jr  and only a couple of people from high school are actually part of my life again if not for FB. Even those people are mostly linked to my wife (whom I met in high school).

The next chapter in my life was the military. I spent xx years in the Marine Corps and I made bonds with people that I know will be actually part of my life forever. Each bond stronger than the last. From training to actual combat. I can remember meeting each of those people and what they meant and how they got me through those tough days and the of course the tough days that follow an enlistment.

After the Marine Corps I didn’t think I’d make friends again. I then joined a group of athletes that showed me I couldn’t be more wrong. I remember the first few days and probably weeks and months it took for me to open up to them. I felt they’d never understand me. They do understand, and surprisingly enough I understand them. As I write these words I come to the realization that it’s been 4 years since I met those folks and I haven’t made any real friends since then. So again, why do we or I refuse to make these connections. Certainly I’ve met people in the last 4 years, right? Yet none really important as all those previously mentioned. (One that comes close I feel close to only because his name and everything about him reminds me of a friends that is very sadly no longer just a phone call away.)

Just as the “you’re it!” earlier made me take a look at friendship and the part it’s played in my life. His goodbye gave me some more insight. “OK bye” and then he walked my way. “I made a friend dad” he exclaimed. Before we even made it to the elevator he had moved on. So I guess there’s just no pressure when we’re young because we haven’t dealt with loss yet. As I’ve grown older I guess I’m done wanting to invest too much of myself in someone I might lose. I will continue to treasure those in my very small circle of friends. All the while hoping it was still OK as adults to say “Want to be friends?”

 

they gave me a bedtime….your honor

i read an article today about a teenager who decided she would sue her parents. i have to admit that there is not a lot of information just yet. still the internet has taken it and ran away with it.

from “news” agency to news agency the descriptor of her has changed. one did identify her as an honor student but later on in the day she was identified as a cheerleader. why not mention the lacrosse team she was also a part of.

yes i’m sure there is some truth to the fact that she is a bit entitled and well moving in with a best friend who’s father is an attorney doesn’t hurt. (anyone but her parents). just like other parents fight to still have their kids on their insurance and as overall dependents until after college. why shouldn’t the same rules apply to her if she doesn’t want to be “emancipated”.

she is definitely used to a certain lifestyle and that is of there doing so regardless why should the “pay”. let us not forget the fact that their income is taken into account when determining her financial aid eligibility. so why not use those funds if the simple truth that they exist messes her up.

I made the claim on FB that things are fairly similar to a divorce where the wife, up until that point, was OK with financial arrangements but now that we talk about rules or other stipulations, the relationship is not as fun so they made an exit. In all honesty I really hope she wins and if it does start a trend I’m sorry. yet I’m confident that if my children sue me I deserve it because i raised some damn brats.

anyway enough rant for now. #runstreak update Day 97.

ooops did I do that….

i woke up this morning still not shooting on all cylinders. if you’ve been reading the blog for at least a few days you know the reason. short version it’s a combination of some adult liquid calories over the weekend and my oreo binge last night.

after a shower and other morning routine stuff i woke up the boy and well he was tired to and my first reaction was less than awesome. i felt terrible the moment the words left my mouth. it wasn’t his fault that i’d made some poor decisions. not to mention he was acting just exactly how i felt on the inside (if you ask my wife i was acting like that on the outside too).

luckily i was dropping him off and so I had another half hour to first of all apologize. i’m no above apologizing to my son. i could tell he was still not certain why i had snapped but we talk like we always do and he knew dad was back on board with our normal fun.

I dropped him off and drove to work. when i drop him off i have an extra long drive and so i switch through quite a few radio stations. I heard someone reading a blog/article about being a perfect parent. they tried to talk it up only to get back to the point of it being incredibly difficult to live up to perfect standards.

i immediately thought of something i’d heard before “THE ONLY TIME YOU’RE A PERFECT PARENT IS BEFORE YOU HAVE CHILDREN”. I couln’t help but smile at the thought that I had just messed something up royally that morning but that ultimately it wasn’t the end of the world. The day would go on. Not I nor anyone else would be a perfect parent and for the most part parents do the best with what they have.

I will always think back on the first day I met either one of my children and wonder how soon after i met them did I mess something up. i will say that lessons learned from meeting the boy has made me a better father to the girl and meeting the girl has made me think about the man i’ve become and how different i am to the man who met the boy.

i’ll end this post with another i’m sorry to my son. i try very hard to not stress out on life and even more so to keep your life as peaceful as possible since life will be hard as it is with out your dad adding to the crazyness.

oh daddy.

IMG_0499

 

Her brother had a sleep over at Grandma’s house.

I had 12 miles on the schedule that I completely overslept for.

Well at least until I heard this one stirring. She’s been sitting with a bit of assistance for some time now but today we realized how ready she is to sit on her own as well as how much of a character she already is.

I shot off about 100 shots because of course she hears the shutter sound from the phone and she becomes a little ham. Big cheesing like a pro already at just shy of 7 months. So I take enough to get past the posed smile and capture something like this. I’ve done it a 1000 times with her brother and now I was so happy to have one of my daughter as well.

I wanted to post on FB and have a caption contest because I can only imagine what thoughts are behind this warm expression. Care to take any guesses.

mentiroso

cheat: “to gain an advantage on a rival or foe” ~ it was a beautiful lie.

what a story. one that’s come full circle for me. many years ago i read and felt extremely inspired by the book “it’s not about the bike: my journey back to life”.

I sang it’s praises to anyone who would listen. it meant so much for me: his perseverance in the face of the disease and then to come back from that and excel in an endurance sport. Other than sparse memories of my father watching the peloton on tv, it was the first I’ve really felt intrigued by what it meant to put yourself through “pain” for fun. It would take several years after that for me to run “far”. Even longer to jump on a bike and try to even mimic an idol like Lance.

sure enough as I made a transition from just running – to completing my first olympic distance triathlon Lance was once again kicking but this time in Iron man races around the world. Something i’m sure just raised more questions about his fitness and his level of awesomeness. I still just told people what a “bad ass” lance was and about the traits I had read about in the book that made him so special. Surely it wasn’t doping.

Not to long after that I sat watching Oprah online and listening to him say that he cheated. Well not in those words because I still feel it was a non apology. He justifies it by simply saying it was the only way to compete. It really threaten to hurt the way I felt about him. Yet it’s hard because he obviously still had to do plenty of work to stay competitive and as horrible as we can imagine it to be. You can’t fake all the dedication to even go through with whatever horrors he had to.

Yes we can’t ignore the lengths he went through to cover up that lie. By his own admission it wasn’t lying over and over it was always to cover up that initial lie. Isn’t that human nature: self preservation. I don’t think it automatically makes him a psychopath. Am I too human then because as straight an arrow as I try to be, I can admit to not always making the right decision in a societal point of view. I also then remember that he didn’t actually wrong me.

Tonight I sat through the entire documentary “The Armstrong Lie”. It was tough at times to watch especially with great contrast between both people side by side. The Lance denying countless accusations or the Lance that is admitting it with out any good reason to or any show of real emotion behind it. I plan to reread the book. Perhaps with the new lens I often mention.

Based on a true story

the following is based on true life story:

i can’t even begin to explain how my heart skips a bit when I see that before a movie starts.

I always wonder what I can do in my life to warrant one of those statements after I’m gone.

Today was really busy. Which means I didn’t do much this after noon.

which means as  you can imagine that I’m back rested and still awake almost at midnight. I totally credit the 20 miler for all the sleep I wanted/needed yesterday.

Anyone else want or think they’ve seen/done anything that requires that when studios make a story about them.

I can think of a few instances from my time in the service. Yet i’m torn about that being my heroic or just my job at the time.