Mothers and Daughters

Subtitle: Probably the reason I don’t have a daughter

My mother is turning 60 this week. Yes, 6-0! SIXTY! It’s strange because I can vividly remember when my parents turned 40 and now I’m 41. Sixty will likely be no different.


My mom, her mom, me (pigtails) and my little sister.

A good bit of reflecting has been happening here lately with this milestone birthday just days away. From my memory banks I was an easy child. I behaved, did well in school and many times was quite entertaining with tales of day to day happenings recounted with various voice inflections and animated gestures. Granted, I was also extremely mouthy, especially in the late teen years and early twenties, when I was sure my parents didn’t know what they were talking about.

Then I had my boys. Oh boy! It was a different story entirely then. I realized in fact how much my parents did know and more than that, how much they had silently endured. My parents were VERY young when they became parents. My mom gave birth to my older sister when she was 16. To their credit, they didn’t go down the dark path of abortion or the more common practice in the early 70s of adoption. They chose to be parents. And not any parents. Really wonderful parents, raising three very lucky daughters.


Mom and her girls. I think I’ve posted this one before; there are so few photos of all four of us together. You know how moms rarely are seen in front of the camera.

I can’t say I was grateful most of the time and generally turned much of my angst against my mother. There is just something about daughters that makes them extremely critical of their mothers; at least in my case. Akin to our fellow mom shaming or the constant mental battle that we aren’t doing “everything right”; some other mom has it all together while we’re zipping through the house, yelling “get your shoes on” for the fifth time, in an effort to make it to school on time. The microscope we turn on ourselves we also turn on dear old mom.

My parents divorced when I was almost 30 and it was brutally painful. I was glad the early follow on years to live where the Army willed and be able to deal with the hurt from afar. Now, living back in the midst of family, it’s different. The hurt is gone, but I feel the critical feelings creeping back. And these days when I start down my mental judgement highway, thinking my mom isn’t the Hallmark Grandma of my dreams, I take a long look in the mental mirror – I am also NOT the pinterest perfect mom. I remind myself she not only gave birth to me, she spent countless hours taking care of me, changing diapers, feeding, clothing, caring, making sure I was healthy and my needs were met. She suffered through my bratty early years, sassy teenage years and judgmental twenties. And there she is, still loving me. Through it all. One day my boys will likely be critical of me and I will be just like her. I will love them no matter what.

I love you mom!! Happy Sixty!!!


Bonus Photos: Halloween 1976 & 1977. Mom made clown costumes. I won’t be dressing as a clown this year!

Social Running

Friday marked the end of the Running Club Season, complete with a very confusing cross country course in Shasta Lake for the boys. It was a quick season and really I don’t know if any of us could have taken another meet. John ran his last meet like his first, in tears. I think the size of the event is just too overwhelming for him. And of course, despite low temps all week, it was in the 90s on race day.


John at the beginning of his run.

Brendon, well, what can I say about my Running Boy? He’s a social runner and truly I have only myself to blame/credit depending on how this is viewed. Within 300 yards of the starting line, he was in a race for last place. Seriously, he passed us in 2nd to last place and possibly slipping to the back of the pack. Did he care? Not one bit. I was blown away.


Goofing around before his run.

I saw him almost ¼ of a mile later passing a kid and turned around talking to the kid as he passed him. I wanted to shout, “YOU ARE IN A RACE!!!”; my inner competitor took this very hard. You’d think Hubby, with his love of sport and working out would be crushed to find his son is not competitive. Nope. He didn’t even care; he’s the one who pointed it out to me last week. There was a pretty significant hill the last 1/3 of the course and Brendon was able to pass 14 kids, who had likely not did the course preview walk.

Saturday marked my return to running after taking almost five weeks off from rolling my ankle on the inaugural run on my marathon training. We took the boys to Lema Ranch, despite loud verbal opposition. They say we run too long there and it’s boring. Thankfully we still have our double and Brendon being on the lighter side, still is able to ride (there are no bikes allowed). My mileage on the calendar for that day was 5 miles.


Brendon credited the stretches he learned at Running Club that he did prior to Saturday’s run for his epic mileage.


Brendon decided he was going to start out running and run he did. We took lots of water breaks, a few jelly bean breaks and plenty of “you can stop anytime” pep talks throughout the run. Something AMAZING happened. Brendon ran 5 miles. FIVE MILES! We did start to get a little worried about him running around the 4th mile, but he was determined.

I was blown away he ran for 5 miles, but even more than that, he talked almost the ENTIRE time. I’m sure if you’ve met him, this doesn’t seem surprising. That boy loves to talk. Just like his mom some might say. He’s a social runner. It’s been cultivated that running isn’t about the end goal and “winning”. It’s about enjoying the process with people you care about. It only hit me then that we’d modeled this behavior by running together as a family and talking. Along with his years of riding along with the Stroller Warrior ladies. He knows the love I have for the ladies I used to run with, the unbreakable bonds it creates and how valuable that time is together.

Muddy runs

One of my favorite runs with some of my favorite ladies.

Our actions have just as much impact as our words; may I never forget, they are always watching and listening.