Tag Archives: marathons

Autumnal moments

Every time the wind blows, a flurry of yellow leaves rain down twirlingly onto the lawn (I use the term loosely, and optimistically) and the deck outside my window. It’s very pretty. The autumn colours are spectacular just now. And here I am, inside, listening to 80s music and my children playing/fighting/play-fighting, because suggesting that they go Out Into Nature is clearly ridiculous.

Yellow leaves on the deck and the grass beyond

B ran a marathon this morning, and we didn’t make it into the city to support him even though it was a local one, because everyone was too shattered from the rest of our busy weekend, which included a 5k race wherein Dash won the Under-12s section and a lot of pumpkin carving and walking. (Pumpkin walking, if you didn’t know, is following a trail in the woods that’s lit only by jack o’ lanterns, with hot chocolate or hot cider at the end. It’s magical and romantic and enchanting, so long as you don’t trip over a log or have a terrified toddler with you. We did neither, and it was nice.)

Glowing pumpkins at dusk with a musical band playing in the background

So instead of hotfooting it into town at the crack of dawn (or a little after) and dragging unwilling childers onto the metro and around the nation’s capital to crane our necks and possibly mis-time the encounter with our one runner of choice, we slept in, got up slowly, collected our pumpkins from the woods, had an ice cream at the farmers’ market, and bought ingredients for lasagne. Dash made a chocolate cake – with a certain amount of supervision because when you’re dyslexic a 2 can look like an 8, apparently, and other such potential disasters – and it’s really all quite peaceful.

Red, orange, yellow and green leaves with the sunshine behind them



I have a temperature of 101.3 so this might come out as gobbledygook, but I did just take some ibuprofen, so we’ll see.

Of course I got Mabel’s thing. I was sleeping with her every night, she was breathing her little hot breaths into my face; OF COURSE I got it. But it has a pretty long lead time, so I was fooled into thinking maybe somehow I’d missed it. I mean, she got sick on Tuesday evening, and I was feeling fine right up to Thursday of the following week. (That’s yesterday.)

Now Dash is upstairs in his bed when he should be at PE or music or something because he had a funny-feeling tummy this morning and a sore throat. Fascinatingly, neither of those are symptoms that Mabel or I had, so this could be a whole new thing that we can all have fun getting too.

And we’re all meant to be going to Delaware (two hours’ drive) this evening for B to run a marathon tomorrow. I’m pretty sure that’s not happening; the question remaining is whether he’s going on his own or I’m going to rain all over his parade by declaring myself not well enough to look after one sick and one healthy kid alone for two days and one night. What I would really like most is for Dash and me to feel miraculously better in about two hours time, but that seems unlikely.

So that’s how our weekend is looking. How about yours?

Way too many things to think about

It’s October tomorrow. That means I’ve a lot of planning to do. For instance:

Planning in further detail our trip to Ireland at the end of the month –

  • what I’ll wear
  • what I have to buy in order to wear these things 
  • how I’ll masquerade as a stylish person instead of a slobby soccer mom who wears the same pair of jeans and scuffed mary-janes every single day
  • if the kids need new shoes for all the walking in rain that will happen (answer: yes)

And boring stuff like

  • car seats to borrow
  • things for kids to do on the journey


  • touristy-type things we might do when we’re there, now that the children are a little older
  • people I need to contact to see if we can pin down when we might see them
  • how wet an Autumn they’ll be having for those specific two weeks

Also, not to forget,

  • working out our best marathon-viewing opportunities, because of course B is running the marathon

Then, as a subheading, we have not merely

  • Halloween in Dublin: do we have to bring costumes? what costumes? where will we do the trick-or-treating? does B want to do some sort of elaborate themed family thing? (Answer: over my dead body; only if he organizes the whole thing; therefore, no.) Dash is talking about some variation on last year (Luke Skywalker) that involves a green lightsaber (very specifically) and a brown cloak and I think it’s just a ploy to get a new lightsaber when it’s neither his birthday nor Christmas.

but also (sigh, sunrise sunset, etc),

  • Mabel’s fifth birthday, in Dublin: do we have a family party? In which case, where? Can I bake a cake in our Air B’n’B rental apartment? Do we bring presents to Dublin? (No. What sort of idiot do you take me for?) But then I need to buy or order presents before we go so they’re here when we get back.

And of course, planning a birthday party with her friends for the weekend after we get back, when we’ll be only just over the jet lag but I’ll still be expected to infuse us all with sugar some more and again and repeatedly, unless she wants a broccoli cake which sounds to me like a great idea but maybe not to her brother’s taste.

Which planning will not be a trivial matter even though I can just bung an evite out there (thank the deity for evites; I love ’em) because we’ll have to figure out

(a) just girls?
(b) which girls?
(c) just girls and one boy?
(d) siblings?
(e) just the one sibling of the one boy so Dash has a friend?
(f) and the one who’s the twin of one of the girls?
(g) but then, what about the boy whose birthday party she’s attending next week?
(h) parents?

And then we have to hammer out the decision in such a way that she doesn’t decide the next day and every next day after that to change her mind in some new and unspecified direction. Which probably means just inviting feckin’ everyone.

And then, there’s always looking way ahead to Christmas and making a cake and planning to go to the Nutcracker for the first time and whatever other things we should do when we have Christmas here instead of in Ireland.

So you can see why planning what we’re having for dinner tonight has just fallen completely by the wayside. Maybe there’s something in the freezer.

Slow-flowing river
Think calming thoughts.