This is not a bad thing. She worries because she cares about us (and we sometimes do give her cause).
And that is a good thing.
But I know that sometimes my antics have caused her excess worry – climbing mountains, backpacking alone, traveling around the world (often alone). I love these activities, but they do make her nervous.
So, as I mentioned in my last post, I was slightly uneasy about how she would react to my 100-mile race a few weeks ago in my hometown. Would she freak out when she saw me looking exhausted? Would she panic if she saw I had taken a fall? Would her need to be a mother and take care of me overpower my will to continue?
The short answer is no.
Mom was actually quite excited about the race. She made sure the house was well-stocked with whatever food and drinks I wanted. She hosted a pre-race pasta dinner for a few of us. And she was up well before the sun to get me fed and off to the race. And then she really began to shine.
I am a pretty independent kind of person. My parents love to remind me that one of my first sentences, oft repeated, was “no, I do by self!”
I had my race bag packed and knew what I needed to do to get ready. This was the first race where I’ve had any support; Ron has never been able to make it to any of my races. So this time, I didn’t have to do everything myself. It was nice to have assistance, but it was strange for me. I hope that the strangeness of it didn’t make me seem too gruff or ungrateful.
But there was Mom, offering food. Wanting to help. Asking what she could do to help.
And then I was off.
And Mom was cheering.
And 2+ hours later, when I finished the first loop, she was still there cheering me on.
She brought a thermos of chicken broth from home (there was soup at the aid stations, but I wanted plain broth). She brought some chocolate cake and a thermos of coffee.
And all through the day, at the end of each loop, she was there. All day.
And she was having fun.
My parents chatted, they cheered, they laughed, and they waited.
They did finally go home sometime around midnight. I couldn’t believe they had been there the whole day. They were back at daybreak.
This was the first time my mom had witnessed any of my adventures. I’ve climbed and hiked with my dad. But Mom has only waited for the phone calls that I’m safely home, and afterward listened to the tales.
If she was worried, she did what I had asked and kept it to herself. She sat quietly when I took my break at 50 miles and examined my feet. She never expressed any concern as I came into the finish area dripping with sweat or caked in mud. She just asked what she could do and cheered me on. She didn’t freak out after 80 miles when I took off my socks and discovered the mass of bloody blisters. My brother, the former Army Ranger, was a little horrified by them. The only time she faltered was the next day when my brother drained the blisters and injected them with tincture of benzoin to prevent infection. Mom teared up at that – I just sweated. (BTW, benzoin in a blister is a sensation I hope to never experience again, but it was very effective.)
Thank you, Mom. It seems like an odd kind of event for Mother-daughter bonding, but it was really fun sharing my craziness with you! I’m glad you were there.
Let’s do it again sometime!