This photo was taken at my parents house two days before my son, the handsome devil to my right, was scheduled to leave for college. Don’t we look happy and healthy? WRONG! Little did we know it, but Brendan was harboring a nasty illness even as we laughed and reminisced over our coffee and dessert.
Poor B! Friday morning he awoke with a fever of 102.6, a throat covered with blisters, and a pounding headache. Now remember, he was supposed to leave this morning for college. Instead, he and I visited his doctor who said that he didn’t have strep. What a disappointment for the poor kid! Of course, there would be no freshman welcome dinner, no first dorm meeting, no free mugs and manners.
My daughter also was affected by B’s illness. Being consumed with caring for a sick boy left me little time to help her pack for her senior year. Good thing she’s an easy-going, caring girl! She left Saturday with little fanfare but lots of hugs and wishes for a wonderful senior year.
Thankfully, I took B back to his doc Saturday after my race. At this point his fever was down, but his throat was still very sore and very swollen. The doc prescribed a strong steroid and this proved to be a miracle drug for B! By Sunday morning, he was ready to head to school.
So, this evening it hit me that both of my babies were away. No one would yell, “Ma, I’m home. What’s for dinner?” No one would send me to the store 3 or 4 times because they forgot to put something on grocery list. No one would call asking if they could stay out later than I allowed.
Feeling overwhelmingly sad, I laced up my running shoes and drove to my favorite running spot. I didn’t run far, nor did I run fast. However, at some point during my 6.5 mile run I realized that running is my Prozac, it cheers me up when I’m down.
So, a lot of people ask me why I run. Tonight I can honestly say that I run because it lifts my spirits even at my saddest times.
My summer schedule usually looks something like this: wake up, throw on running clothes, gulp down a cup of coffee, and head out for my morning run. I don’t stop to think about where running will fit in my day or if I want to run, I just do it. Yesterday, however, was a different story.
When I woke up at 5:30 I was still tired, my hips and feet hurt, my quads were tight and I actually thought, “Oh God! I just don’t want to run!”. As I sat sipping my coffee, I tried like hell to rationalize not running or postponing my run until the evening. I nearly had my mind convinced that I could run at 7:00 that night on my treadmill, when my 18 year old son, Brendan, came bounding down the stairs. “Mom, let’s go. I’m running with you today.” And just like that, my whole attitude changed and off we went.
What a blast we had! B chatted the whole time about his friends, his excitement about entering his freshman year of college, work, running, crewing, anything that came to mind. I said little and liked it that way.
We ran 5.2 miles around our little town of Fairport in about 4o minutes. But time wasn’t important for this run, bonding was. For the first time in a long time; my watch, ipod, and GPS did not accompany me. Instead, it was my sweet boy who shared each step with me. I hope we do this again!