Saturday, October 28, 2006

Bittersweet Symphony

Sunday's race was a joy, but it's the last bit of anything I did this week as I fought off this damn cold. I've done OK in terms of holding it back for the most part, but all week I had hot and cold flashes while I did what I needed to do in terms of normal life.

Then I woke up this morning with packed sinuses and a splitting headache. It feels like a bunch of tap dancing squirrels had a party in my mouth and forgot to tell me - at least they must have had a good time considering how dry and nasty it feels.

Right now the remnants of Hurricane Paul are attacking New England, so waking up to a cold rain doesn't help. Nor does the reality that this is Gazelle Boy's last cross country meet ever as a high school student. At his last home meet the other day he ran a 19:19 5K. Today the conference converges in the Blue Hills and he is running the varsity leg today for his final race. By the time he runs, there are wind advisories in place and, in the Blue Hills, this means it will be that much worse.

I'm such a mom at times, I went out and got him running tights and made him pack those, his compression shirt and running gloves for the race. I'm bringing towels and blankets with me so that he'll be comfortable after the race.

Today is bittersweet and it feels like the world is in tune with the turmoil parents feel that year we're given to let go of our babies before they go off on their own life's mission. This is the year filled with "lasts" - last xcountry meets, last dances, last classes, you name it. It is highly emotional and it is a part of life. I would never try to hold my son's to me long beyond their time, but I also find myself looking at the baby pictures wondering where time went.

There he is as a toddler with blonde curls and dimples; in first grade where the smile is now a grin; as a cub scout joyously jumping after winning the pine wood derby and so on. Then I look at this picture of a handsome young man with an enigmatic smile and deep dimples that is his senior picture.

Who knew 17 years could pass in the blink of an eye?

Perhaps that's why I wasn't running this week - sorting through years of memories and steeling myself for the new role I will play in his life is what I've been feeling. It started earlier this week when I made the travel plans to visit the one school he's wanted to go to since he first got to high school.

Next week will be better. Perhaps I'll do the Travis Roy race tomorrow to get myself jumpstarted, perhaps I'll just try an LSD depending on the weather. (High wind warnings are now being posted for tomorrow as well.)

Perhaps I'll just snuggle deep under the covers and hibernate, knowing the world is changed but it will all be OK in the end.

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