Monday, November 24, 2014


We landed in London last Friday morning.

I had an urgent text from my Brother.

My sister-in-law is no longer with us.

My Brother will pick up the pieces to raise my nephew and two nieces.

In this moment, I have few words and many tears.

Someone else's words are a place to start:

. . . Vulnerability to death
is one of the given conditions of life.
We can't explain it
any more than we can explain life itself.
We can't control it,
or sometimes even postpone it.
All we can do is try to rise beyond the question,
"Why did it happen?"
and begin to ask the question,
"What do I do now that it has happened?"

-- Harold S. Kushner, in
When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Age Appropriate for the Young and Old(er)

Commuter Husband and I have always been conscientious of age appropriate activities, movies, games,  and experiences for Oldest Son and Youngest Son. Some might even say "overly conscientious." Certainly, Youngest Son would voice a big agreement with the "overly" descriptor.

Age appropriate goes two ways in parenting our children. Youngest Son is only twelve so PG-13 movies require parental guidance and permission to attend; permission is definitely not always granted. Mature rated video games are not allowed for either son - period - end of conversation. On the flip side, we subscribe to a free range parenting philosophy which provides freedoms that some may consider risky. Youngest Son can independently prepare a full meal including the use of large, sharp knives and a hot gas stove top. For quite some time, both boys have been riding their their bikes alone to the local shopping center to eat a meal out, pick up groceries for our household or get items they may need for school. Oldest Son has a checking account with a budget and now manages all his own expenditures which includes clothing, snacks, entertainment, haircuts and school activity expenses (homecoming was a surprise budget buster!)
Youngest Son preparing salads.
Commuter Husband and I are at mid-life. I am now recognizing that I also have age appropriate activities. After breast cancer, I set out to take better care of myself which included more and regular exercise. I made the decision to walk. Oddly, this was difficult because I had always exercised in a big way: running, weights, aerobics - "real" exercise. I decided that I needed to be pragmatic and weekly walking with my friends has turned out to be both fun and beneficial. Walking as my primary exercise has totally exceeded my expectations and surprisingly contributed to better physical and mental health. I am now adding some light running into the mix.

However, I have wanted to do a triathlon or half-marathon for a long time. I start and then stop; over and over. A full-time working mother with a Commuter Husband only has so many hours in the week to exercise. Over-exercising within these few precious hours when I am almost fifty is craziness and will only incur injuries. Reality is that I must be a better steward of my body as I age. So I am looking toward a more reasonable, age appropriate goal: one 5K race per month with each one faster than the prior. I will mix both long walks (over 5 miles) and shorter runs (2-3 miles) to remain fit and train.

I am also hoping this can be a family activity since all four us can do 5K races. We as a family must also maintain age appropriate together time. Commuter Husband and I have been running together since we were newlyweds. Our family of four has been doing races since the 2000 Turkey Trot with Oldest Son in a stroller at eight months old. Short distance running has and can cross the many phases and ages of both the boys and us.
 1998 BK (Before Kids)
2003 AK (After Kids) when Oldest Son was 3 and Youngest Son was 1. Oldest Son was out of the double stroller and running at this point.
And in 2013 when Oldest Son was 13 and Youngest Son was 11 - it was cold! The first year in which both boys ran much faster race than me.
Here are the first three 5Ks we will target in 2015:
Jan 17 - Hotcake Hustle

Feb 15 - Heart and Sole

Mar 28 - Firefly

Our Commuter Family 5K in June 2014 - Disney Cruise Castaway Cay 5K - it was hot but totally fun!
We will see how this goes in 2015 ...