This is us. For sure. If you are not sure you wanna read about the yucky or maybe I should say normal side of us… then you do not want to be here.
I’ve been talking a lot about my no sugar ride that I’m on. It feels like I could do it for the rest of my life, but I really don’t know. Just for now and however long I need it to be. It’s been 5 weeks now and I have no plans of turning the page yet. I have lost only a few pounds doing it, but I feel like now that I gave that up – that I can give up some other things, too, like more carbs and so on. I think it’s important to note here that I do not drink caffeine and have not done so since the birth of my babies… mostly Emma. She really messed things up in there when she came along but really it could have been Jaxon, too. A great thing about having babies so close together is you cannot tell one pregnancy from the next. I’m really big on not altering our bodies in any way chemically just because now I see how that rabbit hole can go really really deep, and I want to steer clear. Plus health choices for each individual. Anyway.
One of the things I have been wrestling with so hard in my current season of life is that I get no exercise. Non. Chasing kids doesn’t count. My favorite thing ever, was to walk. Long walks outside in the elements and God’s green earth breathing in the fresh air and thinking all the thoughts. I loved it and it loved me right back. Never was a runner although I have ran for exercise some but I would not count myself as having been a runner. I don’t like it. I used to take both of my babies in a stroller with me. Walking. Till that became more crazy than I could manage. My babies do not sit. They run and play and climb and climb and climb. It’s a job keeping them both in a shopping cart for 5 minutes. Remember that one time I went to the grocery store and someone thought it would be a great idea to give them both their own little red shopping cart with a flag on it? Emma really started shopping! “I love this!” she would say and toss it into her cart. Do I say, “I love this” when I put groceries in my cart?
So I’ve been brainstorming and thinking and pondering how do I get back to exercising? And basically, I was looking for anything but to go to a gym. Have someone come over and watch the kids while I go walking. I did try exercising at home but wow, that went so badly with the kids around. And let me also insert here that my children do take naps (did!- see next paragraph) ummm.. what were some more of my ideas? But, you see, I just never liked the stuffy gym. O I went to the gym plenty in my single life. Especially in the winter when it was too cold or snowy or on a rainy day.. it was always my backup. I loved walking with friends there but using the weights and things, Nah. But then I started contemplating the gym because what else was I gonna do and they have day care. So. Maybe I would just go and sit for the allotted 3 hours I may have my kids in daycare. Or is it 2? I don’t even know. There are so many rules at a Y you might as well wear your own whistle around your neck and just blow it every now and again.
And dealing with a lifeguard who has nothing to do but talk to people while he is guarding in between yelling at my kids to stop running! and don’t take that noodle over there! etc etc. Jaxon was crying (he gets very scared when strangers tell him no) and then in his attempt to get back to me quickly he fell into the pool and bumped his chin. No harm done. And then he approached me. I literally said, “Now what?” And not in a kind way. “UM, you have to be within 5 feet of your children at all times so you can reach them quicker than me.” YOU WHAT!!! WHY ARE YOU EVEN IN HERE! “Both of them?” I said, because at that moment they were literally at opposite ends of the pool. And let me just stop here and tell you why this reminds me of my dentist. He would like for me to floss more. I’m sure my hygienist would appreciate it even more, I mean she is the one who scrapes my teeth! I brush twice a day. I do not floss twice a day. For the record, I never have cavities but I provide a great amount of tarter and plaque. And here is where I beg of you to realize what kinds of things you will do when your children are tired, cranky, and crying. Do you floss while your baby cries? Me neither. Everyone is tired – and the last thing I’m going to do is floss while they are sleeping. There are so many times when I am in public with my children that I literally want to bang my cart, fling a shoe, or perhaps high kick the dentist from my lying/sitting position on the chair. Now, I realize my reactions are not good ones and I’m not up to par in these moments, but when am I ever really going to be up to par? I picture it happening when my babies start going to school, but I’m wondering if the pressure of grade school drama will be what sends me over the edge???
And then the time changed. It technically changed the night before I joined the gym but whatever. My children. Both of them daily 4 hour nappers. Have stopped napping. I don’t even know how to cope. O wait. That is except yesterday and today in which Emma naps and Jaxon doesn’t. So he goes to bed early she stays up late and I am never without a child. So, tell me, what do you do when your children are both napping? Or quiet? Like watching. How do you make that fatal decision of which activity you are going to partake of? I will tell you what is the deciding factor for me. My sanity. So, anything I can do when they are awake, does not happen when they are asleep. That basically leaves phone calls, napping, and general relaxation.
So, today I will miss our gym day because the car was in the garage for a service this morning, and by the time we got it back the daycare at the gym was taking their afternoon siesta. Then Emma decided she is gonna take a nap and now here we are. Jaxon will go to bed in about 45 minutes or sooner and by the time Emma wakes up he will be in la la land. And just when I thought I had found a solution to my exercise dilemma there presents a much larger one. When will I ever get to generally relax again? And I thought I was really solving things by getting back into that gym.
And this is really why I’m writing this. In between all the beautiful photos of my children because maybe I don’t really want you to find it down here. There is an overcoming of shame and sadness and grief culminating into this decision to go to the gym that makes me feel bold and empowered ( but only till the lifeguard walks over and steals our joy). You see, addiction does not leave any area of your life untouched. They gym was one of our favorite things to do together, until it wasn’t. Until I had to also put boundaries around that and say I’m no longer joining you at the gym. And as much as I would love to lay it all out for you and tell you why, I just am not able. But there it is. There is the real reason why I never wanted to go to a gym again in my life. Also, it’s stuffy and sweaty. And there are lifeguards.
I’m not stopping here. I intend to go back. I hate that I missed my gym day today. But, as I took that first mile on the track with my earplugs blaring in my ears and tears coming and going at intervals…. the song came on. “Your Beautiful” by Phil Wickham. His favorite song. And I felt transported to heaven for a few minutes and I cannot believe that was coincidence but rather that he was saying sorry. “I see your back at the gym and I’m so proud of you and I’m sorry I made it really hard for you. I love you and I see you and I know you can do this. Just relax and have fun with it!”
He was always telling me to relax. (in a fun loving sort of way)
He would also have kicked that lifeguard to high heaven but I’m not saying that would have been the right thing to do.
I also ran out of my medication (Walmart does not have everything all the time like we thought they did!) for a few days too many (thyroid) and my patience is all in a bunch plus I had a headache so I want to extend grace for that lifeguard. He may have been acting totally normal and I was out of line. I highly doubt it, but hey…. someone has to give someone a chance! What would this world look like if we were all power hungry life guards yelling at tiny babies for pulling out the thermometer from the water? Whyyyy is it a rubber ducky!!!! I will be the first mom to admit that my children are not angels. Not in public or private but especially not in public. They are at that age where they don’t even know there are indoor pools (Jaxon yelled, Mom, we are in a building!!) let alone that they have a list of rules longer than your arm. They do not know that sometimes pure strangers will yell at you and you will have to listen. They don’t know that while they are in the beloved daycare that mommy is out there tackling another list of things. Things that are bigger than all of us and yet not bigger than God. And she might be walking or she may just be sitting there. Thinking of ways to get back at that crazy lifeguard. (I really need to let that rest).
And, I don’t know, would it be too much to ask of a guy to just let us have the swim of things since we are the only ones there?