The plan was to take the girls to school and then come home for my mid-week eight miler. But Sophie woke in the middle of the night with a cough so disturbing that I pondered a 3 a.m. hospital visit.
I decided I’d try to manage the cough, but it required nearly constant breathing treatments keeping both of us awake until four.
I couldn’t, wouldn’t send her off to school. I needed to have her in my sight until we could get to the doctor for “big boy” steroids.
Instead of eight miles with my children being in the care of their teachers, I would go to the doctor with Soph, leave Grace with Peach, and meet up later at Peachie’s house where I’d run her neighborhood.
It just happens that her neighborhood is a little over two miles from my old stomping grounds, where I lived with Brian before we got married.
It was interesting to spend time in a place that once belonged to me, but is now just a memory. It felt like I was holding open the book of my life; on one side my past and the other side my present, while simultaneously recognizing that my present is the future I’d been dreaming about. Weird.
Six years ago I was single and living with my boyfriend turned fiance. We had two dogs, his Golden and my Pomeranian, both of whom are now gone. I was teaching the fourth grade, but all I wanted was to be at home with my own kids. We lived in a cul-de-sac where everyone knew everything and I was absolutely clueless about what the future would hold. I was frightened by it, because I wanted so much more.
It felt familiar yesterday to pound the streets that led to our old house and the soft woody path that is exactly three miles long, the extent of my former life’s morning runs. I noticed the same brooks and streams that lined the trail where I used to daydream about my wedding dress; hoping I’d fit into it by the July of 2005. There were snakes and frogs that would slither and hop across the path and if I left early enough, families of deer. I always enjoyed that path, but remembered feeling nervous when I’d pass strange (older and younger) men while running alone. Yesterday, every time I’d pass one I’d look warily out the corner of my eye, peering back to make sure they weren’t turning around to pounce on me. I’d hate to end up on a poster; one of those statistics about women runner’s not being aware. I think it’s why I prefer the busy streets where there are so many more eyes upon me. Safety first.
Six years ago I had no idea I’d have twins or that it would take two miscarriages and a couple rounds of infertility treatments to get them. I imagined I’d get pregnant and have a baby and that it would be as easy and common an experience as the next girls’.
There was no image in my head of the house I’d be living in now. I had only an inkling of what life as a mom would bring. I never expected two strong willed little girls with a behavior chart that’s always missing the star next to, “I didn’t hit my sister today.”
How would I ever have pictured this future? It is exactly what I wanted (minus the hacking of a certain strawberry blonde), and though a struggle sometimes; such is life.
Where I will be five years from now is not written in stone, but I have a much better idea as to what it may look like. My kids will be nine. I hope we are in the same house. I am determined to be writing, though exactly what remains to be seen. I bet I’ll still be running, but if my arthritic left toe has anything to say about it, I may be running a lot less.
I will be 45 years old! Middle aged? I am almost positive I’ll be ready for some Botox injections by then, which I have no bones about.
Memory Lane was nice for an afternoon run, but I don’t ever want to go back to where I was, even though it was necessary to get me where I am now.
Hindsight; the beauty of looking back.