Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dear William (81 months)

Dear William,
Today you are 81 months old!

You continued with your favorite pastime this month: jumping on the trampoline.  You discovered that if you go out at dusk and jump high enough, you can see the moon rising above the house.

You still love astronomy.  Here you are with a construction paper model of the nearest star system to us: Alpha Centauri A, the Earth's Sun (included for scale), Alpha Centauri B, and Proxima Centauri.

When daddy's friends came over one afternoon, you taught them about the planets (and moons).  They wrote you a thank you note.

I bought you a light saber toothbrush (which turned out to be the best $4.99 ever spent).

We ran a May the Fourth 4K here in town and wore costumes.  You were Boba Fett, Daddy was R2D2, and I was Rey.

Your class did a music performance.  In one of the songs you had a small bit to play on the xylophone. I was so proud of you I almost had a heart attack.

On Mother's Day, you sent me a text.

You also had prepared me a card at school. The card was a worksheet that had sentences for you to complete, with things like "My mommy is _________."  (You wrote, "My mommy is nice.")  One of the blanks to fill in said, "My mommy weighs _______."  Why on earth would the education system think that having a child guess his/her mother's weight would be a good idea? I have no clue. At any rate, you guessed 150 pounds.  Not exactly, sweetie.

One of the other sentences on the card read, "It bugs my mommy when I _______."  You didn't fill that in.  You told me, "I don't do anything that bugs you." And you're right.  Another sentence said something like, "I wish my mommy would _______."  You left that one blank too.  You told me that you thought it would make me sad to hear that you wished I would change something about myself.  So I asked you if there was something you wanted to write in that blank.  I said you could tell me anything.  But you shook your head and put your little arms around me.  You preferred to leave it blank.  You had no complaints.

Watering a peony bush we planted on Mother's Day. Grandma Florence would have wanted this.

Of course, it could have been that you figured out if you left those things blank, it meant you'd be done with your work quicker, and with less writing involved.  Either way.  You're brilliant.

We went to the movie theatre this month with some of daddy's running friends and watched a documentary about a race called The Barkley Marathons.  It isn't actually a marathon.  It is a shrouded-in-secrecy event (seriously, no one even knows what you have to do to register for it) that is more like 130 miles and takes place (on a date that is not publicly announced) in the hill country of Tennessee.  The course is unmarked, is nearly entirely off-trail, and involves 60,000 feet of elevation gain (the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest twice).  Many years, there are no finishers within the 60 hour time limit.  In fact, since the race began (I don't actually know when the race began, but it has been going on for at least 21 years), there have only been 14 finishers.  

You were just completely overwhelmed by this documentary.  The next day you announced to me that you wanted to run The Barkley and that you wanted to be the youngest person ever to finish the race (move over Nickademus Hollon). You calculated that you would be ready to compete at age 19.  You asked me to help you train.  

I said alright and fitted you with my Jenny Jurek hydration vest filled with 40 ounces of water.  You decided we should go to Red Fox Meadows (a completely flat 1/2 mile dirt loop), and so we headed out into the dreary afternoon.  On our second or third lap, it started to rain, but you said, "It's okay," and kept going.  I told you that was really good training, to keep running even in bad weather.  We covered 2 miles in 37 minutes, and then you decided that was enough for the first day.

William, if you want to go to The Barkley, I will do everything I can to help you get there and cross the finish line.  I am so proud of you for dreaming big but also knowing you have to take little steps each and every day along the way.

Love always,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

DEAR WILLIAM! You just continue to amaze me !! what a very eventful month this has been for,you!! We are sooo proud of you !! always REACH for the MOON and the stars!!! You can achieve anything you want , because you are a super little guy!! Sending you a big hug and love! Miss you , Luv Pawpaw and grama nan