I used to set myself these little goals to get myself up the incline: "Just get to that little pothole - you can make it to there." Then, once I hit that, I'd look for the end of the pub fence, then the bumper of that red Fiesta up there, and so on.
Then, finally, the crest of the hill would come into focus, and often my running partner/steadfast friend Xander would dare me to sprint the last 100 feet. And most times, I could do it: with long strong strides, I could spy the roundabout that marked the turn onto a long gorgeous straightaway through the village.
Well last week was the mothering equivalent of that hill.
I had a sick toddler, who apparently had nothing but a severe cold, but who constantly needed to wipe her snot fountain on my shoulders, constantly wanted to be held, and spent at least 4 nights waking up every hour, on the hour, and crying inconsolably until Mommy - of course only Mommy - would hold her and help her get a drink. Her siblings, her father, her grandma - none were to touch her, none were to help her, or they'd be subject to the bloodcurdling wails of "noooooooooooooooooooo! ONLEEEEEE MOMMMMMMEEEEEE!!"
Every morning I woke up more shattered than the night before, and encouraged myself just to get everyone off to school. THEN I could catch a nap. I slouched over my mid-morning coffee and told myself I could totally get through lunchtime, and then the baby would nap and then maybe I could too. Except that there was always laundry, always bills to pay, always One. More. Thing. And then she'd wake up from the nap after 40 minutes, weeping from her own exhaustion and stuffy nose, and as I held her I'd promise myself if I could just make it through bedtime, I could go to bed early. Of course I never did.
Which is all to say that this past weekend was my long glorious straightaway sprint. It was my birthday, you see. We had a long-postponed inn reservation in Annapolis, and plans for a quiet dinner. Not fancy, not exotic, just...... away.
The drive away from my parents' was quiet - Torbjorn seemed to understand my need to sit without talking. And then, in a sprint all of its own, my inner dialogue spilled out, for the rest of the forty mile trip. It was a stream of consciousness brain dump, filled with all of the half-thoughts that had flitted across my mind all week. Gently, cautiously, my husband unwrapped the crazy talk, tried to make sense of it, offered hilarious commentary and generally filled in as Best Guy Ever.
We checked in at the B&B, and changed for dinner. I had time to put on makeup - even the frou-frou bits like [gasp!] concealer.
This is a shot of our B&B, from the steps of the Maryland Capitol Building.
We ate at Level - A Small Plates Lounge. Silly name, the small plates thing, but what a place. All the menu items are sourced from local farms/fisherman, from the crab ceviche to the buffalo statay to the goats' cheese risotto. They even make their own tonic for mixers - amazing. With no rush, no sitter to return to, we savored bits of rice and chorizo, we toasted with a lovely Viognier, and we so enjoyed ourselves we didn't even bother with the Banana Dark Chocolate Bread Pudding with Vanilla Creme Anglaise. (Not that I minded skipping it. At all. And not that I woke up thinking about it. At all. )
We then spent the evening wandering the brick-paved streets of Annapolis, under shadowy branches of blooming cherry and dogwood. Then - guess what we did? You'll never guess, I'll just tell you: we went to sleep. The week was that bad, people: all I wanted for my 37th birthday was to go to sleep.
Well, to go to sleep, wake up at 7am - listen for the toddler wail, not hear it, decide I'll never sleep in again in a hundred years, and then wake up again at NINE. O. CLOCK. Out-freakin-rageous.
To make my twenty-four hour escape magic, all you had to do was top it off with diner coffee, Belgian waffles, a side of bacon, and watching sailboats on the harbor. And that, my friends, is exactly what we did.
that's me, enjoying the silence, in the middle of a busy diner
I just might make the next leg of the run after all.