Singing and Spelling and Swimming My Eyes Out
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Last weekend was a blur of crazy. Let me try to break it down without being too awful long-winded (sorry, it's just part of my nature..I'll try to hold back).
Well, I can say the morning was great. Relaxing, actually. For once we didn't have to leave at the buttcrack of dawn to be somewhere. We planned to check in at the hotel at 3pm, so we left at 1pm and got there super fast (so it seemed). (I didn't realize it was so close, actually...next time we won't stay overnight.)
My mom got there an hour early...of course. And then everything tried to fall apart from there. Long story short? Mom wanted ME to pick the place for dinner but didn't like what I picked for whatever reason (I think it's because my stupid step-brother suggested she ride the bus to get there...my mom doesn't do public transportation) and then I got frustrated and she left and apparently there was some miscommunication and I tried not to cry because I had that "Why does my own family hate me so much?" feeling again. Yeah, it wasn't pretty. Hubs stuck up for me, as he always does (and should! ;) ) and told me we could do whatever I wanted to do. ...all I wanted to do was go see my baby sing!! (I'd already been without him for a full day and a half, dangit!)
So, drama, drama, drama...we end up at some preppy "pub" (okay, can I just say that I hate pubs that are trying to be somewhere else? This was a "pub" in WV trying to mimic itself as a Boston pub. I want to go to a Boston pub in Boston and a WV Bar/Hodown/Whatever place in WV. I'm not sure why that irks me, but it does...and Hubs just looked at me and we tried not to laugh after I spouted this entire tirade in the car and then go into the "pub" and sit down and the first thing my Mom says is, "I feel like I'm in Boston!" *sigh*). (EDIT: The only exception is "exotic" cuisine. I like that...but I don't want them to try to be something they aren't. I don't know why it irked me this place saying, "We thought - why not have a Boston pub right here in WV?" Uhm...because it's WV, not Boston...and Boston isn't exactly EXOTIC ...and I don't ever remember thinking, "When I go to Boston, I must visit one of their FAMOUS Boston pubs. For crying out loud, it's not like the Philly Cheesesteak or Seattle and it's coffee houses. Isn't Boston known for beans or something....and the tea party. Yea, I'd want to see where they dumped the tea out, not a friggin' PUB.) Whatever. Hubs ordered a white pizza. Whatever. It was burned so badly that my husband, who actually told me the other day he didn't like my pork chops because they looked like pork chops and weren't charbroiled in an unrecognizable fashion (he and his father burn popcorn ON PURPOSE), started complaining about the "doneness" of our pizza. And the Manager was stupid enough to come over and ask how it was...so I told him it was WAY overdone. And he offered to make another pizza. And I told him we didn't have time because my son was in this big concert soon. And then he basically told me to suck it up because "that's the doneness of our pizzas"...and I wanted to punch him. (I wasn't asking for any money off the bill...I really didn't care at this point..still trying to get to my son...but when you offer to eat the cost of an ENTIRE pizza and then I tell you that would inconvenience me MORE you don't then insult me by telling me that I don't know what pizza is supposed to taste like. You offer to take a bit off the bill - a buck or two at least - and apologize if it isn't to our liking.) Whatever. I had a shot, which thrilled my mother and the rest of my family...but was really only there because 1) I needed something to calm me down after the drama and 2) it was a buck, and St. Patty's Day themed. And I had a small salad with their house ranch dressing (I wasn't going to get ranch, but it was HOUSE ranch...and damn good too!) and a few cheese fries.
And then my boy sang. It was beautiful! Finally kids who LIKED singing and knew how to do it too! There was harmony and different vocal parts and just a bunch of beautifully arranged pieces. And I tried to video it (which is apparently illegal in WV because they want to charge you an arm and a leg for everything - my mom broke down and bought him a plaque WITH MY SON'S OWN NAME ON IT for $32.50!!! Crazy, right?!) but my phone said I was out of memory. Instead, I just listened. I heard his voice a few times in the choir of 200+. I used to think my mom was lying when she said she could hear me through the choir, but I get it now. I just KNOW that voice. Hubs thought *I* was lying until there was one speaking part and he turned to me, eyes big as ever, and said, "I just heard him!" *lol*
A few lessons I learned from watching my son in his first big concert.
1) I can spot my son anywhere. Within 2 minutes I pointed him out to the entire family. I just know him...his mannerisms...who he is. I couldn't even see that well (stupid contacts!), but I spotted him super fast!
2) It's even tougher to see your son singing when your eyes are filled with tears. I tried to hold back, I swear. But I was just SO DARN PROUD!
3) Concerts are long sometimes.
Okay, bear with me. These kids had 2 days to practice together so there wasn't a LOT of harmony and variety. Plus, they're all about 10-12 and their voices sound a LOT alike. And there aren't any real "male" vocal parts. My son was an Alto I. WTF happened to tenors and basses? I guess a boy of 10 can't be a bass baritone yet. *shrug* So a lot of the songs sounded very similar, but we still had our favorites (and one Ethiopian song ...gotta throw one foreign language one in so people can make up their own translations - my mom used to think every baroque song we sang in HS choir was about meat and potatoes).
The best part? Holding my husband's hand through the entire concert. Knowing that we both felt this immense pride in our son. I could feel that feeling surging between us...and I know how corny that sounds...how stupid "oh, those silly parents who are proud of their kids all the time" it sounds, but I swear to you the air between us was electric for some reason. We couldn't even hardly speak...and didn't want to interrupt the singing to do so anyhow...but each time I looked at him and he looked at me we just smiled. After the first song I looked over at him and grabbed his hand and through tears said, "We MADE that" (i know, gross...but it was magical) and I knew we both felt that pride. No marathons I ever run or tris I ever do or weight I ever lose will match what I felt in that moment. Because it's easy to make yourself do something and so much harder to try to influence a young child with his own ideas about the world to do something...and when they succeed and you feel somehow a part of that and yet somehow removed as if you had nothing to do with it!? Best. Feeling. Ever.
After it was over, it was chaos again. But as soon as I found my boy he ran to me and hugged me SO tight. And then when I showed him the plaque his grandma got him....just tears came out. He couldn't speak (and he's like me so "speechless" isn't a word used often with us). I wanted to cry all over again.
I took him back to the hotel and told him that even though I was completely exhausted, I would take him and his brother to the pool to swim. (Best part about him being away? The blissful 8 hours or so of the two of them getting along while they told stories about what they did without one another. *lol* That broke early the next morning when they fought over who got to take the suitcase to the car. *facepalm*) About that pool?! OMG! I tried swimming when we got there earlier, but one lap and my eyes were on FIRE. Too many chemicals!! I told the boys to be careful but they didn't seem bothered at all. As for the hot tub? Maybe it was because I hadn't eaten much all day (in anticipation of a GREAT dinner I had planned but never got to have), but I spent about 10 minutes in there and then nearly fainted as my blood pressure shot through the roof. WEIRD!
By Saturday, we were more than ready to come home. Too much drama and chaos and confusion...but all worth it for that hour in the theatre. I promise I'd do it all again just for that.
Yesterday that same little boy competed in the County Spelling Bee after having won the bee at his school. I could tell Hubs was impressed, but I was so worried. We'd been studying but his school had only given him the words a week and a half before. FIVE HUNDRED WORDS...some of them *I* had never heard of (and I have a degree in English for crying out loud!). I just crossed my fingers and hoped he'd make it past the second round. Poor thing was out on the word "stabilizer" after somehow skipping over the first "i" and I about died for him. Turned out alright because his crush nearly swept the title from a 6th grader (Ethan and his crush are in the 4th grade) and he felt proud about what he did. And I felt proud for him (because somehow when I spelled it in my head with him, I missed that letter too! *lol*).
As for my tri training?! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
I biked 6.6 miles yesterday. My foot and ankle hurt as if I did another 20+ minutes on the elliptical (another no-no) but not as bad as when I run. Not sure if this is something that will fade, but it's certainly frustrating. Will try swimming at the gym, but I may have to skip the biking for a bit as well. Until then, I'm raring to go with a 12-week program I'll start Monday that starts with 4 weeks of pure lifting, no friggin' cardio to speak of. That means the pressure will be OFF of me and my foot for 4 weeks...should be enough time to heal. And if I want to swim for fun in that time, I totally can, but there's no HAVE TO and worrying about how my foot will feel after the cardio sessions.
The program also includes a sort of rough outline of a "meal plan" that doesn't count a single calorie. And...yes, I'm going to say it...I'm so friggin' sick of counting calories for no reason! I can yo-yo these 10 pounds just fine on my own, thank you. So 4 weeks of no cardio and no counting calories?! Sounds like the break I need without sacrificing and feeling like I'm "giving up". It's an eating clean, eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of ways to vary my meals so I don't get bored meal plan that I think might actually work. And as for the lifting? Well, lifting always made me feel like a rockstar. And it doesn't put the same strain on my foot that repetitive motion does (i.e. cardio). Sounds like a win-win. And if I don't lose weight doing it? How will I be any worse off than I am already? I might actually heal in that time. Who knows!? I could break the plateau with the decreased stress levels. Either way, it's what both my heart and body need right now.
Well...it's not TOO long. ;)