Friday afternoon, I look out the back door and can see that Carolyn has picked up a broom and is trying to strike her siblings with the handle, much like one would try to crack open a piñata, each time they swung past her on the swings. They would laugh and dodge her blows, but each swipe of the broom had such velocity, it would spin her in a circle and knock her down.
This is a fun new game that the kids have initiated.
But seeing as I am a responsible parent that doesn't want her husband to spend another afternoon in the emergency room with a flesh-wounded child, I dropped the pot that I was in the midst of filling with water and I ran out the back door yelling, "PUT DOWN THE BROOM!! PUT DOWN THE BROAAAARGHARHARGH!!!!"
Just before I could get the second "broom" out, my foot rolled under me and I couldn't recover what with the rapid acceleration and forward momentum. So, I plunged to my knees while it felt like a firecracker exploded in my ankle. Oddly enough, even though I was now in tremendous pain, my mind wasn't distracted from the children's mischief in the least bit.
Instead, it felt like the tinge of frustration I had seconds earlier, morphed in to a raging anger that overtook my entire body.
While the children stared at me with mouths gaping wide, I turned four shades of purple and roared. I actually roared. "RARRARRR!!!!" Then I stood up and hobbled after them as fast as I could while yelling, "GET BACK HERE!! YOU!! GET!! BACK!! HERE!!"
The kids scattered and ran faster than I've ever seen them run. And then they tried to hide. Thankfully, the sight of six little legs, sticking out from beneath William's bed had an immediate calming effect on me and I took pity on their four-year-old plight. Otherwise, I would undoubtedly be typing this from the confines of a cell.
A few minutes later my foot was tingly, but I could walk.
A few hours later, it was excruciatingly painful and I couldn't place any weight on it at all.
Despite the pain, yesterday, Charlie and I loaded up the kids and we drove to Long Beach to stay with my friend and running buddy, Lorie.
Lorie and I met in school in Northern California in 1991. The same school where I met Charlie, and Lorie met her husband, Mark. We all graduated from the same Geology program and when Lorie drove back to Massachusetts in 1994 for our wedding, and then invited me to be in her wedding in 2000, I knew that at a minimum, we'd exchange Christmas and Hanukkah cards for life.
In March of 2004, a few weeks after we rode our bikes together in the Los Angeles marathon, Lorie called to tell me that she was pregnant. Because she knew that Charlie and I had been trying for years to have a baby, she was very nervous about giving me her news. But before she could even get out the words that she was expecting, I blurted out that I was expecting. And suddenly, I had a good friend who was about to become a mother for the very first time, at the exact same time as me.
Our triplets were born the second week of October.
Lorie's daughter was born the first week of November.
This weekend, Mark and Lorie graciously made room for our brood in their house. And this morning, after less than two hours of sleep (because of a little "angel" we'll call Henry), Lorie and I ran the 5K race while our husbands stayed at home and cooked breakfast for the kids.
At around 2.75 miles, I had to stop and take my shoes off because my feet had fallen completely asleep and I was afraid I was going to do a face-plant on the asphalt. But I finished the race. Fortunately, my sprained ankle never did hurt. Probably because I couldn't feel anything from my knees down.
I'll definitely need to find out why my feet continue to fall asleep whenever I run. Because after some soul searching the past few days, I've decided that if Charlie can complete a marathon, so can I.
The only thing that is stopping me, is my mind.
(And a possible circulatory disorder. And diminished lung capacity. And weak legs.)
Together, the two of us are planning to join the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team In Training to prepare for the Rock-n-Roll Marathon on May 31. We'll be raising money for research in honor of our friend, Deana.
Any one that I've spoken to within the past 48 hours, I've asked to join us in this event.
Thus far, adding to our little team, is my cousin Margaret, who will be flying in from South Carolina and expects Deana to get well so she can be out there handing us water.
Also adding to our team is my friend Lorie, who is still on the fence about her ability to complete such an event, but I know she can do it. All of us agree that running a marathon is a walk in the park compared to what Deana, and millions of others that battle cancer, are facing.
In all honesty, for me, this marathon really might be a walk in the park. Albeit a long walk. There are no guarantees that I'll run the whole way. But I'll do my best and hopefully, I'll be off the course before they close it. From what I understand, we'll have seven hours.
(And just under four months to get ready.)
The men in white coats should be coming to take me away any moment now.