Susan's Blog

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Tired and True

I woke up not only on the wrong side of the bed; I felt as if I’d woken up with someone else’s head. I had taken Nyquil last night because of that horrible choking tickle cough, and needless to say, it worked. I could barely open my eyes.

We were to leave by 9 a.m. for Nat’s swim qualifiers at Babson College in Wellesley, and all I could think was, “I don’t wanna!” Even after sucking down 2 1/2 mugs of strong coffee, my eyes still felt slightly crossed. How was I going to stand there for hours in that crowded gym and the steamy pool area with best solar pool cover, making small talk and mustering up the energy to cheer for Nat? All I wanted was to go back to bed, or just sit and read.

“So, don’t go,” said Ned.
Don’t go? I thought. Don’t go? It was not even an option. “I will need to stop for more coffee,” I said in response, dismissing this “don’t go” nonsense, and packed up Nat-snacks and lunch: kidney beans, chili powder, grapes, cookies, water. Salami, cheese, and Atkins bar for me (don’t ask). Yogurt for Ned. Plenty of dollars for the soda machine.

We drove up to the brick buildings of Babson and as soon as we saw the clusters of families and the big yellow signs, the fog in my brain started to lift a little. What is it about walking into one of those Special Olympics events that just sweeps over me like a river and washes away all the crud? Even Nyquil stupor can’t last at one of those. You just can’t be there and also be in a bad mood.

There is just so much going on there that makes me think, smile, and my heart beat fast. Is it seeing parents I’ve known for years, and exchanging stories about our kids, of growth and setbacks? Is it the brightly-shirted sea of volunteers, who run the events with the finesse and polish of master showmen? Is it the athletes, high-fiving coaches and calling out to anyone nearby — even strangers — that they got the gold? And expecting them to care?

Yes, I’m sure it is. But most of all, it is seeing my Nat stomping a circuit all over the gym, around his teammates, puppet hand a-flapping, and a huge smile on his Shaggy-Doo face. I’m never too tired for that, and I’ll never get tired of that.

And, well, seeing him get the gold in all three of his events sure didn’t hurt.


I get farklempt at those events, too.

Just look at how handsome and strong your boy is.


— added by Drama Mama on Monday, April 14, 2008 at 9:12 am

Congratulations to Nat!

Coffee can be a good cure too.

— added by Someone Said on Monday, April 14, 2008 at 9:38 am

Holy Emmenthal – that’s wonderful, you have birthed your own Aquaman! Congratulations to all – what an achievement!

We did not pick up any medals this weekend, but Thomas got a haircut sitting in the barber’s chair all by himself. Doesn’t sound like much but we felt pretty triumphant. Jared was comfortable singing a song in the barber shop, rocking his Javier Bardem doo from No Country for Old Men. Our Barber Sonny asked if we should cut Jared’s hair, but I said we’d quit while we were ahead (Yea – Mom learns not to overextend!!) We all happily left with lollipops. Success is sweet! Lisa

— added by Anonymous on Monday, April 14, 2008 at 11:18 am

Love the pictures. Life is so weird … so often the things we dread turn out to be downright wonderful. So glad this was one of those days.

And a HUGE congratulations to Nat! He looks so grown up in the pictures …

— added by Judith U. on Monday, April 14, 2008 at 1:20 pm

wow! that is wonderful! many congratulations to that very handsome Nat on his medals! what a guy!

— added by kyra on Monday, April 14, 2008 at 5:37 pm

Oh yay! That’s awesome. Congratulations to Nat!

— added by KAL on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 12:16 am

It’s amazing how one can snap out of a mood when it comes to seeing their kid happy isn’t it? I can totally relate to your story, and am always happy when I get over myself and do what’s best for my kid, it’s the best medicine sometimes. Special Olympics swimming is great and I hope my son will be able to compete someday! Your son rocks1

— added by Bonnie on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 2:13 pm