‘Twas a Flu-Filled Nightmare

Originally published in the Democrat and Chronicle.

Sick on Christmas Eve
‘Twas a nightmare before Christmas when all through the house, my 5-year-old was vomiting, some flung on my blouse.

Reed couldn’t get nestled all snug in his bed, so he lay near the toilet while mom stroked his head.

The bucket was placed on the floor with care, too late for projectile that hit Teddy Bear.

And I holding Spray Nine, removing its cap, wouldn’t dream of settling down and taking a nap.

When from under his covers there arose such a clatter, my blessed boy’s cries had me worry, “What’s the matter?”

Away to his side, I flew like a flash, rubbed his back, kissed his face, while his complexion turned ash.

Dwelling on reindeer and new fallen snow, Reed feared his sickness would make Santa a no-show.

When what to our wondering minds it would appear – a hiatus to headache and upchuck was near.

More rapid than lightning my efforts became, I needed some meds but – what was the name?

To the top of the medicine cabinet – Tylenol! “Now dash away! Dash away! Fever and all!”

So to the TV for Christmas movies he flew, but I ordered him to bed – rest was what he should do.

Dressed in Sponge Bob jammies from his head to his foot, Reed’s clothes were all covered with – well, you know what.

A bundle of toys he hoped for in this shack, and I dreaded I’d catch flu before I could make Santa’s snack.

Cookie dough I reached for up on the shelf, and that’s when it hit me – I wasn’t feeling myself.

I spoke not a word, but went straight to work, disinfecting surfaces where germs tend to lurk.

And laying a tissue aside of his nose and giving a nod, made Reed take several blows.

He sprang back to bed at the command of my whistle, awoke 4 a.m., asked, “Santa bring my launcher with missile?”

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he opened his gifts wrapped tight, “You were right, I needed sleep. I didn’t feel good last night.”


Daughter, Mom Bond Over Race

Originally published in the Democrat and Chronicle. 

Warrior Dash Windham New York
We might be cool, or just crazy.

I roped my 16-year-old daughter into joining me on an extreme event described as “3.2 hellish miles” of jumping over fire walls, climbing on cargo nets, scrambling under barbed wire and through pitch black pipes filled with mud, among other madness.

And I’m actually paying money to do it.

Not to suffer alone, I rallied friends, trying to get other common sense challenged athletes to join us.

The event – and training for it – will be great mother and daughter bonding. But how do we train for walking planks over a gulley and scaling slate walls? The first part of the Warrior Dash is running straight up a ski slope. I set the treadmill incline to the highest position and began to run. That lasted about two minutes before I lost balance and nearly fell off.

A friend offered to whip a rope at my feet to simulate the part of the race that involves speed stepping over hundreds of tires.

Perhaps I should follow training tips straight from the event’s website: “Find the dirtiest pond in your neighborhood and snorkel in it – in your slippers, without goggles.”

But more than likely you’ll find me running up and down Cobbs Hill with attached ankle weights – red-faced and panting.

My 6-year-old son saw video of the race and is pleading with us not to do it, afraid we’ll die by flames. Most people don’t even believe we signed up.

How can I get naysayers to understand the feeling of elation when I cross the finish line and course officials place a warrior helmet on my head (it’s really just a fuzzy Viking hat; but I’m all for the symbolism)?

It’ll be fun! Or, just plain foolish.

Besides, where else can you get a complimentary post-race shower in the form of a hose down by fire fighters? Or feelings of camaraderie associated with being surrounded by fellow mud covered martyrs eating turkey legs, dressed in clown suits and throwing hatchets into tree stumps?

We are – after all – warriors!