Water to the right of me, a million kids stretching to the left of me.

First XC meet.

Look at me looking at the water and not looking at you. Look at me not walking over to be near your group so I can pantomime to you “look at your Dexcom and then finger-signal me the number.” Look at me walking the dog with my most relaxed gait. Look at me picking up dog poop. Look at me admire the view with not a care in the world. Look at Prudence Island. It looks too close. Is it always that close? Look at me look around for a trash barrel. Look at me not want to walk too far away. Look at me put a sack of poo on the roof of my car.

Look at you walking away with a group of friends. Look at you stretching and skipping the same high skips we did in the 80’s! Look at your pump visibly banging around in the pocket of your giant shorts. Look at me not try to get your attention to pantomime, “put it in the Spibelt.” Look at you line up to race. Look at me continue to not attempt to pantomime blood glucose inquiries. Look at you go. Look at you disappear into the trees.

Look at the buddy you run with. Hey, he’s coming down the chute in first place! Look at ten more kids. They seem nice. Look at me clap. Look at me clapping, clapping, clapping. Look at me say “wooo-hoo Meaghan” when I’m pretty sure that’s Meaghan.

Look at my eyes go all farmwife tornado. Look at ten more boys and girls run into the chute. Look at the anvil pressing on my heart. Look: three more runners. Look way in the distance: there’s someone with your too-big blue shorts. Look at me not get my hopes up, but maybe? Could it be? Look—it’s you, bangy pump pocket and all.

photoYou’re not missing! You didn’t give up in the woods with a hypo or hyper and walk away and get lost or get kidnapped or die! You’re here, you’re alive, and you’ve arrived in 26th place!

Look at me crying. Look at the rictus where a momface belongs. It’s scaring the dog. Look at me hide the rictus in Joe’s armpit. Look at you taking the dog around the field to meet a bunch of other dogs.




  1. Scott E · September 16, 2014

    Look at me remember running in the “Turkey Trot”, a race up and down the side of my mountaneous college campus during my freshman year. Look at me thinking I must be nuts for signing up for this. Look at me finally reaching Sigma Nu while the rest of the runners had already passed Lambda Chi. Look at the event staff disassembling the finish line. Look at the empty lawn where celebratory banners and tables once sat. Look at me finally reach the lawn. Look at me smiling because I actually finished the race.

    Look at me smiling because your baggy-bouncy-shorted kid reached the finish line. Look at us not caring whether we came in first, fifteenth, or last. Look at us taking that last step, then collapsing in a heap of exhaustion. Look at us taking pride in accomplishing a feat that seemed so far away.

    Look at me opening up Google and typing “define rictus”. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that word before.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. type1tot · September 16, 2014

    I shed a tear. Like after watching Boyhood. But your post was much shorter.
    Nice job both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sara · September 16, 2014

    Look at me googling rictus.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Mary Margaret · September 16, 2014

    I know what rictus means. Too many mystery stories in my past.
    And I will have the same heart stopping experience tomorrow waiting for the kid to come out of the woods in his first race.
    Congratulations to you and B.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous · September 17, 2014

      I hope it means what I think it means. I better look it up. I meant a twisted, ugly face


  5. Robin Jingjit · September 17, 2014

    I love that he’s doing XC. I was last place my first race in 7th grade (literally last) and I was SO proud of myself for finishing. I still remember that pride- 2 girls dropped out and I finished it. I didn’t have the sense to be embarrassed. XC was the best thing about my middle and high school experience. I hope it is for bubs, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lifeont1 · September 17, 2014

    Ya done good mama.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. skchrisman · September 17, 2014

    There is nothing like waiting to see your kid reappear from the deep belly of the woods. I’m glad for both of you that this first race is over. Most moms worry about their kid giving up, or worse…puking. Your worry is too big. Thank goodness for Joe’s armpit. And may your big worry grow smaller and smaller with each passing race.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. gstabach · September 18, 2014

    another HUGE milestone!!! I wasn’t sure if you were laughing with joy or crying!!! xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

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