cooties and no training wheels

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You know about my  Nutrisystem  journey, right?  After reaching this weight-loss plateau I knew it was time to consistently add some exercise.

I loathe exercise. I have a list as long as my arm of all the reasons not to do it. As ridiculous as it sounds, I need motivation to workout. Aside from the benefits of being in shape, I need a better reason to sweat that hard.  To fight the dread that comes over me right before it is time to workout or exercise. So, we bought new running shoes. Now, I need to run.

We started our walking/running journey as a family. The shoes get me moderately excited.   (I had Shera shoes in elementary school that made me run super fast. Got a ribbon on field day. For real.)

Last night we go to one of the high school tracks as a family. We’re all in this together.

I know I need to start out slow. After all, my endurance level is about as existent as global warming. Seriously. So I compromise with myself. I will jog the straights and walk the curves of the track. Sounds fair.

Four laps to go…. we’re doing a mile here.

Lap one I am dying.   Can’t breathe. Trying hard to catch my breath. I press ahead, after all, the payoff will be amazing, right?

Two laps in and I KNOW I am dying. Who in their right mind enjoys running? Who? Crazy people that is who.

Three laps in and every time I pass my kids on the track they want to carry on a conversation. Hey Mom…   blah, blah, blah, right?

I have no air. All I can do is motion to cut it out. Later,  I pant.   Later. If I live.

Lap four and I am like a rising  star on American Idol. I am in it to win it! If I don’t croak over on my face. Dying with every step.

I made it. Four laps. My legs are jello. All I want to do is spread out on the track, on my back, who cares if someone runs over me. I will wait until my children come and find me.

Garrett finally convinces me to walk one more lap, with him. I oblige. I tell him all about how I am certain I am going to fall over dead and he will have to drive these kids home. (Not really. My suburban is not cool enough for him to drive.) As we walk this lap together, Garrett, the child who made me a mother and turned 12 years old just days ago, asks if he can hold my hand while we walk.

Of course you can.

I can tell he wants to talk.

It goes a little something like this…

You know Mom, I’ve only held one girls hand before.

Say what?  Who’s hand did you hold and when? Hand holding is illegal, you know. Unless it is your mother’s hand.

Emily at school (name changed to protect the innocent).

When was this?

At school. It was on my birthday and we were watching a movie at school. She sat down next to me and put her hand out like this. I knew she wanted me to hold her hand for my birthday, so I did it.

At school? Where were the teachers? You know you’re not supposed to hold hands at school. You’re not supposed to hold any one’s hand until  you’re 45.  

The teachers don’t know. We would get in trouble.

Dear God, Garrett. Next year tell her to give you a birthday card instead.   Do you know what holding hands leads to? Cooties. And you do not want cooties. They are worse than head lice. You’ll never get rid of them.   Never.

Mom, you’re weird. And holding hands does not give you cooties.

Oh yes it does. Let’s load up these kids and go home….

Do our children really have to grow up? Should I just tell him holding handing leads to teenage pregnancy. I mean after all, holding hands leads to hugging, hugging leads to kissing, kissing leads to…. I just can not even think about it.   Where is my mommy manual?

And the saga continued today.

Sweet little Nicky, who just turned 5, adamantly decided he wanted his training wheels taken off his bike.   He convinced Anthony to remove them. I look outside and Garrett is helping Nicky peddle down the sidewalk.

Look Mom, no training wheels.

Excellent balance.  

My heart breaks and smiles all at the same time. How is this even possible?

My kids are growing up.

They are.

And there is nothing I can do about it.


  1. I’m afraid they will grow up faster than you think. My youngest is about to turn 21! I’m still in shock over that. You’d think being a Gramma already would help some, but now I’m watching my grandchildren grow up too fast too!
    Good luck with the exercising. I bet I have some of the same excuses that you do. My daughter being a Zumba instructor…well…I’m running out of excuses. They’re just no good anymore! LOL
    As for’re so right. Once they get them..they’re infected for life!
    Great post..brought back some memories for me!

  2. Great post and oh so true. I raised five children and it just went so fast. I miss my babies so very much. Thank goodness for grandchildren to fill that void in my heart for little ones. But, that being said, nothing matches raising your own children. I hope you enjoy every day, yes even the challenging ones, because it really will go by too fast. Also, keep up the exercising. The more you do it, the easier it gets and the better you feel! You will be a happier mom and wife!

  3. Kim Idell says:

    If you had not walked that last lap with Garrett, you would have missed out on such a sweet moment with him. 🙂
    That being said, I hope everyone knows that your conversation went exactly as you wrote. No, you were not making your replies up to be funny. I can really see you saying that…..and Garrett rolling his eyes and thinking you are crazy……and you freaking out. Too funny!
    And tell Anthony he is in trouble! Nicky is my kids baby and they said he is too little to ride without training wheels. I think even they don’t want him to grow up.

  4. Sounds like you like exercise just about as much as me…my husband is making me run a 10k on Saturday. I might die.

    1. Jocelyn- pretend you’re sick Saturday morning…. hey, it might work.

  5. I have the solution…’s what works for me, anyway. I don’t run. I WALK. Yes, W-A-L-K. When I am walking, I can breathe AND talk. And, when done regularly, not only do my clothes fit better, but my kids & grandkids talk to me while we are walking….it’s awesome! BTW…I did a 5k last fall (walking) in 52 minutes….no kidding! I know it didn’t set a record, but for a 54 year old grandma, I think it’s pretty good. 🙂

  6. My 11 year old will be going to “real school” next year and I am FREAKING OUT! Actually, all of my kids will be in school next year. Oh dear….. FREAKING I TELL YOU!

    Look on the bright side sweetie, he is talking to you. It is so much easier to help them make good choices when they share their feelings with you. 🙂

  7. I love this! Seriously! And my 7 year old needs tips on the balancing thing with no training rules.

  8. Aww! I think it’s a very good thing he told you about it. I wouldn’t try to scare him from doing stuff as that means he just won’t tell you about it. However, I would somehow try to have an informative conversation about things.

  9. They grow up so fast, my son, age 18 is at his first bachelor party tonight! The youth pastor at the para-church ministry he volunteers at is heading it up so I am sure there will be no unacceptable behavior but still. My son is old enough to have good friends who are getting married.

  10. Shanaka @ Mama Bee Does says:

    Loved this post. I think its great that he even talked to you about the hand holding, my oldest is only 6 and hes so shy and gets embarrassed easily (takes after his Dad). I hope that he and I can have an open relationship where he can talk to me like your son does you. They grow up so fast.

  11. Shanaka @ Mama Bee Does says:

    Oh and after getting a cold, pneumonia and then strep I convinced my 6 year old that touching other kids and their school stuff can give him cooties. Hes been on antibiotics for a month now 🙁

  12. You’re in for it! Your son Garrett is going to keep you on your toes. You’ll have plenty of exercise pacing the floors!

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