I have mixed feelings coming into the next cycling season. Last year was great as far as personal achievements go. I blew away my previous PR for the 25k River Bank Run--averaging over a minute faster per mile! My cycling skills improved and I even got a little faster.
But something else has snuck up on me, something surprising and even more fulfilling than reaching my personal goals--my kids aren't babies anymore! I hate to admit it, but I did not enjoy being a mom to infants. They cry, they poop, they spit up food, they need to be carried around in a giant car seat that caused debilitating pain in my back and shoulders . . . ugh. And those big eyes, well, I found them a bit creepy. Babies don't blink! It's just not normal. They just stare and stare, until you are convinced you've given birth to an alien spawn child.
Now my kids are old enough to do stuff. Taking my daughter for her first mountain bike ride this summer was one of the greatest memories I will ever have. It was amazing. This winter I started cross country skiing with my kids. I tow my 2 year old son in a sled behind me while I ski with my daughter. Its good fun. Turns out I really do LOVE being a mom.
I find myself spending more and more time with my kids and less and less time training . . . Which is not a bad thing at all. But it is a different feeling.
Creating Family Memories.
This last weekend we went up to Crystal Mountain with my brother's family, my parents, and my SIL's mom. We had a packed house--grammas, papa, aunts, uncles, cousins, dogs--the perfect chaotic mix for family fun.
We woke Saturday morning to 6 inches of fresh snow. No one in my immediate family has downhill skis. In fact, we had planned to do some sledding, snowshoeing, and swimming at the resort while my brother and his family skied. But with the fresh snowfall, the hills called to me. I really wanted to ski! Fortunately, my SIL had a spa treatment planned which meant her skis were at my disposal!
My husband and I bundled up the two kids and hiked down to the rentals where the kids were fitted and kitted for their first downhill skiing experience. Both kids took to it like naturals. After just a few short runs my daughter was asking to go on the big hills with the chair lift!
Even though I try not to worry, I just can't help but imagine all the horrible things that can happen. I am so thankful to my brother who took her up for some mom-free downhill skiing. Where I would have hovered over her in a panic, he was able to give her some freedom and wings to fly. Thanks bro!
My son, my little 2 year old Evil Knievel--it didn't take long for him to start smack talking. This was perhaps his first taste of independence. He could get on and off the Magic Carpet by himself. He stood an entire inch taller riding up the hill, doing a little dance and singing to himself. Occasionally another skier would smile and wave at him, he'd reply "I'm awesome! I'm skiing by MY SELF!" Or he'd look at me and start in "I'm doing this by my self. Not with you! I can DO this! YEAHHHHH!" and then he'd grunt and dance.
Once at the top of the hill, the race began! He could taste speed. He'd barrel towards the bottom as fast as he could. As he careened uncontrollably down the hill he'd do The Running Man.
Sunday, my husband took our daughter swimming and my son came xc skiing with me. We enjoyed having some one-on-one time with the kids. It was a wonderful weekend. I keep finding myself smiling at memories that bubble-up throughout the day.
As I scroll through facebook and see all the long training rides my friends accomplished, well, I may be getting a bit behind on the schedule, but I have no regrets with how I spent my time.