Friday, July 18, 2014

Why Would You Do That?

I seem to be getting that question quite a bit lately. And it has nothing to do with any of my parenting decisions!

When I tell people that I'm going to hike 20.8 miles in one day in the middle of August in the mountains of West Virginia and annoy all my friends by asking them over and over again to donate money to CureSearch to help fund research for a cure for childhood cancer, some of them seem to think I've gone round the bend. Since so many people are asking and because there are so many answers to that one question- some more charitable than others- I figured I'd compile them here.

1. Because it's there. Sure, it's no Mt. Everest, but for my body, it may as well be. I don't think I've hiked more than three miles at one go in the last 12 years. I want this body, which has seen better days, to remind my addled mother-to-three-small-boys brain that it can, in fact, accomplish things that don't involve growing or maintaining another human being.

2. Because in its own insane way, it seems like it will be fun.

3. Because twice a year I take one of my kids to the UNC Children's Specialty Clinic for a visit with a specialist. My kid walks in on his own, with all of his hair, without an oxygen tank, and without any other visible sign of why we're there. Sure, my kid has a chronic medical condition that may be with him throughout his life and merits being followed by a specialist, but there's no chance that it will take his life, and that makes me one of the luckiest mamas in that waiting room.

4. Because I know that I could one day walk into our pediatricians office for a routine well-child visit and walk out with a child who has cancer.

5. But mostly, I'm doing it because of kids like Eve whose mom, Christy, will be hiking with me. Check out this video of Eve giving me and my fellow hikers some encouragement.

After you watch the video, I'm sure you'll be compelled to donate to CureSearch. You can do it HERE!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

If You're Going to San Francsico

Be sure to adjust your expectations because visiting a city you lived in before you had kids will be entirely different than you remember it. But, it will still be completely awesome!

Things I learned on our recent trip to The City By The Bay:

The kid I worried would cause some sort of incident and have us all removed from the plane could be better behaved than a lot of adults who were not on their first flights.

If there is a time during a flight when it is absolutely impossible to get out of one's seat- during takeoff, extreme turbulence that has the flight attendants in their jump seats, landing- this kid will have to pee. Like right now!
When adults are peeved that their luggage is taking too long to arrive at baggage claim, kids will be so captivated by the rotation of the conveyor belt, they'll be disappointed when the luggage finally gets there. 
 The Jelly Belly Factory has a three-week period each year when jelly beans are not in production. A person can tour the Jelly Belly Factory twice in ten years and manage to never see a single piece of candy being made.
 When you're 3, 5, & 8 the view on a Cable Car is typically the backside of the person standing in front of you. Not exactly a great time.
 Though Laughing Sal has moved from one side of The City to the other, she's still creepy as hell.
 If you force your kids to march from the Hyde Street Cable Car stop all the way to Pier 39 to see the sea lions, there will be exactly one sea lion, too lazy to even open his eyes, when you get there.
 This eight-year-old may be way too cool for a lot of things, but he's not too cool to ride a carousel ostrich.  (That is, once you've found the carousel. Because you never looked for it when you were childless. Oh, and jeez, Golden Gate Park is way bigger than you ever realized!)
 When your kids get to meet one of the people you love most in this world, they love her too!
 Muir Woods is a much different experience with three kids than however you remember it. As soon as you enter the Cathedral, that kid in the middle will have to pee. Like right now!
 Given half a chance, this kid will destroy government property. I'd rather not say anymore.
 The love of In-N-Out is transgenerational.
 Being on your college campus with your kids is a wonderful thing for all of you. They see a piece of who you were before they were and you get a glimpse at who they might be someday.

And everyone smiles at kids on campus.
 The second time you ride BART, it's old hat.
 If you order something called the Bucket of Fire, you should not expect it to be small.
If you drink this much of the Bucket of Fire, you should let someone else drive. 
 If, while on a boat, you hand the camera to JBB, he will take this picture of a random stranger kayaking, but not a single picture of wildlife or his family.
Suburban kids need more opportunities to chase pigeons. Go ahead, call PETA, they don't care about pigeons. 

You might have noticed a lack of photographic evidence that JBB or I were on this trip. Yet another difference when there are kids in the mix!