Thursday, May 1, 2014

The runners

Day #1 of temporary single-mom-dom down! Nine to go! There is something so strange about having Dan across the country while leaving Sammy in one spot, Elijah in another and traveling 60 miles to work. I didn't like it! I swallowed down tears all day. It didn't feel right. What if one of the boys needed me quickly? I was happy to scoot out of work and head toward home. Elijah and Sammy were eager to get to the library tonight! Each boy quickly picked out four books. I heard Sammy say "EEeeeewwww!" the whole ride home as he flipped through his tadpole book. "It's non-fiction, Mom. Eeeeewwww! Look at that slimy...thing! Eeewwww!"

I was so happy to go with Elijah on his field trip yesterday. I have gone with him to this same nature center a handful of times. Preschool, kindergarten and now first grade. Each trip is special because it means one-on-one time with my oldest cutie. He still loves holding my hand and being close to me, which I love! Personally, my favorite part of each trip is the bus ride home. Exhausted from exploring, Elijah inevitably falls into my lap, wrapping his arms around my legs and falling asleep. I'm so excited to do these same trips with Sammy! But let's not rush time.

There were only a handful of parents volunteering on this particular field trip, so each of us had 5-6 kids to look after. It seems I was matched up with the runners, which is ironic considering I was also looking after Elijah, my very cautious non-running walker. It was stressful! The other five kids RAN ahead of me as I constantly encouraged Elijah to "Please move more quickly!" There was a point where I realized there was only so much I could do, so I relaxed for ten seconds until.. We came upon a HUGE hill. It was steep and covered with dried grass taller than myself. My runners yelled back at me, "We're going up the hill!" Wait, what?! Hold on! I told Elijah to climb on my back. Toting my 50-pound boy, our team backpack, and my own bag of rain gear, I climbed the mountain so as to not lose track of the other children. I thought I was going to DIE when I reached the top. Then I saw ANOTHER mountain, only this one was bigger. I said under my breath, "No freaking way." The runners looked back at me as they began scaling mountain #2. I yelled, "GO FOR IT! Just PLEASE come back down!" Elijah started to climb this one on his own, but I knew I'd need to stick close because coming back down would be tough. Not only was it steeper than the last, but it was wet, muddy and very slippery. "I want to climb to the top, Mom!" Ugh. It's so tough to tell him "no," but sadly I had to. It would have taken us forever and it would have been a ton of effort for both of us, probably involving more piggy-back rides and/or carrying. The runners ran down the hill past us and then back up again. And then down and back up (I'm not kidding) and back down. Did I mention we were supposed to be looking for bird eggs and deer tracks and signs of squirrels and geese? Forget it. I was in survival mode and I wasn't ashamed. When we got back to HQ, all of the other teams had photos on their iPhones that they'd captured of various nature-related items. "Look! We saw a baby duck!" "We found a pile of deer skat buried beneath some branches!" Ha! My kids were all still alive and I couldn't have been happier about that.

That one will go down in the books. I'll never forget it. It was interesting to see Elijah's interactions with his classmates. Personally, I feel he has come such a long LONG way. He is miles beyond where he was even a year ago. He engages with his friends, much more than what we've been told, I think. We've heard nothing but, "He's socially awkward" all year, so it was refreshing to see some positive interaction, even if some of it was borderline naughty. His classmates are kind and so sweet and showed genuine love for and interest in Elijah.

I hope you all have a great weekend! Thanks for checking in on us!

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