love and like

by MrsFatass on February 8, 2016

To my Doodlebug,

It’s time to sit down and acknowledge another year. And once again, the first words that come to mind are simply “I can’t believe how fast it’s gone by.” You’re a teenager now. And I can’t. I just can’t believe how fast it’s gone by. Even though I still see glimpses of the baby you were, more and more what I see are glimpses of the man you are becoming. As much as I love you, I’m so glad to be able to say I also really like you. I enjoy it so much when your guard is totally down and you’re just relaxed and funny and smart and thoughtful. You’ve always been a kid with a lot on your mind, and I appreciate it when you share those thoughts with me. I understand well your worries and anxieties, and I hope that it has at least occasionally comforted you that I share so many of the same ones. I hope it’s helpful that I get you.
Photo Dec 31, 6 00 02 PM
This was another big year for you, my sweet Thing One. Another year where it makes me both joyous and tearful to think about all of the different ways you’ve grown up. You even LOOK more grown up. Basketball season made you lean, and you can see the results of the daily workouts in your shoulders and your waist and your calves. I’m glad you’re so good about showers and deodorant because it’s totally time for you to be paying attention to those things. And that silly tooth that has made you so self-conscious is finally being pulled into place. I love your braces smile, and your shaggy hair, and the way you look when you have to dress up for away games. You look good in a tie and a belt.

Photo Jan 28, 7 44 42 AM

Girls like you too, and I suspect that first kiss is going to be happening sooner rather than later. You have a crush on your best girl friend, and I like her too. She’s clean and makeup free and wears jeans and converse. She’s always smiling when I see her and I think she looks like she’s comfortable in her own skin. She watched you play basketball this season too, and I’m happy that she cheers loudly. I know you like her, uh, shapeliness, and that’s totally okay by me that you like looking at pretty girls because I know that you are also a kind person. I know you’ll be nice to any girl you date. And we have talked at length about the importance of being respectful, of NOT doing the kiss and tell, and how different life is for a girl with a reputation than it is for a boy. You have also asked me about who pays when you go on a date, and we have practiced what you should do when you meet parents, from the handshake to the small talk. Because talking to adults is still something that is very hard for you to do.

Photo Jan 25, 5 53 06 PM
It was an important year for you in basketball, too.

For the very first time, you had to try out for your spot. You had to combat nerves and you had to open yourself up to the possibility of disappointment. All you wanted to do was survive the first round of cuts, which you did. And you survived the second round, too. The day you made the team was a huge high for the whole family! But this was the year you also learned that tryouts were just the beginning. Making the team didn’t guarantee you playing time. You rode the bench, and in the beginning it was heartbreaking. I honestly wasn’t sure which way this was going to go; would you roll your eyes and say forget this and head back to Upward? Or would you put your head down and work?

To say I’m proud of you just doesn’t do it justice.

Photo Feb 04, 6 00 46 PM
You worked hard. You put it all into practice. You got your hopes up every single game, and the first time Coach put you in, it didn’t even matter that it was for just a few seconds at the end, and it didn’t matter that you never got your hands on the ball. It didn’t matter. That first time being put in the game made you happy and it made you hungry for more.

And as the season progressed, so did your playing time. You earned it.

Photo Jan 28, 5 29 36 PM

We decided in the car on Friday that we were going to skip the part of teenager-hood where you and I don’t get along, where you roll your eyes at everything I say or where you stop wanting to hang out with me or be seen with me in public. We decided that we were always going to be just like us. Mother and son and friends and confidantes. I hope that’s true. Because I love you and because I like you. I like you so very much.

To my Doodlebug, my Thing One, my baby boy, my love. Happy Birthday.

Photo Feb 06, 2 38 41 PM

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Confident and Consistent

by MrsFatass on January 4, 2016

So if it’s true what they say, that what you do on New Year’s Day is what you’ll do all year, then I’ll be spending the year being super bad ass with really amazing women who are ALSO being super bad ass.

One of these women has a fear of water, one of these women is already wearing her bathing suit, and one of these women is pretty sure the hardest part of the whole event will be T1.

One of these women has a fear of water, one of these women is already wearing her bathing suit, and one of these women is pretty sure the hardest part of the whole event will be T1.

Okay, so on the ACTUAL New Year’s Day I was eating nachos and watching football, but I’m going to bend this saying around what it is I actually want to say. And what I want to say is that I am FINALLY a triathlete!

Didn't die!

Didn’t die!

My first Tri was supposed to be last October, but lo and behold a hurricane blew through these parts and our event was cancelled. So we had to hang on for the Indoor Tri sponsored by Lifetime Fitness. But it was good because it kept me training – at least minimally – through part of the off season and I walked into the gym MUCH more confident than I would have been at the event in October. I mean, I spend all day every day in a gym, and I’m on and off spin bikes and treadmills multiple times a week. I haven’t spent much time in the pool, but this event is based on TIME not DISTANCE and so I figured worst case scenario I could dog paddle or even walk in the pool for 10 minutes.

Turns out I had a great swim. NOT because it was a beautiful crawl, because it was anything but. It was a lot of breast stroke and quite a bit of backstroke because my start-of-the-race adrenaline turned my already shaky crawl into an I-can’t-find-my-breath mess and so I just let it go. But my goal was to keep moving for the entire time and I did. I moved for 300 yards and I’m totally happy with that. The bike was hilarious, first because we were a minute and a half late (turns out blowing off transition practice was a mistake) and second was because I was face to face with and absolute BEAST of a competitor who had a snarl, and who growled, and who was cycling at a rate of speed I didn’t think was possible in a spin studio. But I just laughed it off and kept my own goals in mind and I LOVE to cycle, so I just enjoyed the music and pedaled my way to 8 miles, which was my goal. And I can’t remember how far I went on the treadmill, somewhere just under a mile and a half I think. I jogged a little and walked a lot and again I just enjoyed myself and remembered that I didn’t register to COMPETE, I just registered to COMPLETE. And that’s what I did. I completed. I was super happy. I AM super happy.

I already have two more triathlons on the books (March and May) and my goal is to participate in one event a month from March through I don’t know when. September? October? Walks, runs, Triathlons, obstacle courses, whatever. Just one thing a month to keep me CONSISTENTLY training.

Ah, CONSISTENCY. The point of this post.

It’s the time of year that many of us resolve to do certain things, choose our anthem for the year, our battle cries and our mantras. The last few years I have chosen my words wisely, from “Do More Cardio” to “Remember Gratitude” to “Be Thankful”. And really, I’ve done a good job keeping them with me for the entire chosen year and beyond. I have two words this year also. 2016 will be the year of CONFIDENCE and CONSISTENCY.

Confidence, you ask? Um, MrsFatass, have you met you? I know, I know. I say live in your discomfort zone! Wear your bikini now! But to be completely honest, there have been a number of things that have happened the last year or so that have shaken up the fatass foundation, and I’m having to work a bit to recover the self confidence that I wore so proudly when I was encouraging you all to strut in a bikini. But I am. I did. I finally took a breath, straightened my big girl panties, and fixed some things in my life that weren’t working. And now I’m ready to do those things that will remind me to be confident. And hopefully we’ll do a lot of those things together, you and me.

And? I need to do those things CONSISTENTLY. I will be consistent in my efforts.

Efforts to what? You might be asking.

Efforts to everything. My effort to train, to be organized, to cook more, to drink diet soda less, to walk the dogs, and also? To write here. Once a week. 52 posts in 2016. Consistently. Whatever it is that I decide needs to be a thing will be a thing consistently. I will see it through.

Inconsistency has stalled my weight loss, allowed my house to be messier than I’d like, made my savings account emptier than it could be, and left a hundred posts half written in my head. And my excuse reason the last few years has always been The Business! The Business! The Business!

But I have made a big change in my life. And I am ready for more.

If you see me on a Friday, ask me if I've been to the pool yet. Fridays will CONSISTENTLY be my swim practice day!

If you see me on a Friday, ask me if I’ve been to the pool yet. Fridays will CONSISTENTLY be my swim practice day!

In 2016, I will rediscover my self-confidence, and I will be consistent in my efforts.

What are YOU going to do this year?

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life after

by MrsFatass on December 15, 2015

So, like any self-respecting obsessed business owner, making the decision to close the studio left a big hole in both my heart and identity. If I wasn’t half of trio (math!), who was I going to be?

I didn’t have the luxury of a long period of soul searching. I didn’t get to go away for a while in order to come back reinvented. I didn’t really even get a weekend to hide away under the covers and mope about the decision to close Trio Fitness. I needed to figure out the next step and I needed to figure it out fast.

But I had no idea where to start.

Attacking it with my business brain was a first resort. A RESUME! I must write a resume! A Google search of fitness resumes, a couple hours of scribbles and typing and editing and proofreading and BLAMMO! MrsFatass had a fitness resume.

No matter how hard I tried I couldn't squeeze all that awesome into one page.

No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t squeeze all that awesome into one page.

Next up, a cover letter. A cover letter! I’m a writer! I can write a letter!

Dear Sirs,
You will notice from my resume that I am a rock star group fitness instructor who just so happens to also have a fat ass and even though I know I shouldn’t make excuses for it because fit comes in all shapes and sizes, I sometimes become overwhelmed with insecurity because if I’m doing all the things I coach others to do, why am I still so dang, uh, curvy?
Also, I am the mother of two and wife of a Trophy Husband with a very demanding new job and I’ve worked for myself for years so I’m going to need autonomy and flexibility and I don’t ever want to miss a basketball game or a class party and also I need to be home when the kids get off the bus so I can fix them a healthy snack and hear about their day.
Can we make this happen, like, ASAP? Kthanks.
MrsFatass

That’s where my business brain coughed a very sick little cough and powered down for the day. No way was someone who didn’t already know me going to hire me to work in fitness.

So I began thinking about the things that I missed. Like, when the stresses of owning the business were beginning to snowball, what were the things I started letting go of?

  • Being present at home. I was always marketing, communicating, brainstorming, social media-ing. I was also working an early morning shift, a lunchtime shift, and an evening shift almost every weekday, which meant family time was squished, distracted, and sometimes just lost.
  • Being present at church. Sundays became the only day I didn’t teach a class, and often were the only day in a week where I didn’t have to perform a bunch of work related tasks so it became Pajama Day instead of being a time for worship.
  • Being present with my clients. Planning classes and learning new choreography was top of my priority list, but would get pushed down so far of the actual TO-DO list because of other things that I was often concentrating more on the choreo than the connection.

So. I woke up the next morning and I stayed in bed for a minute before hopping out to get ready for work. And? I prayed.

Please help me.

Then I grabbed my phone and my tennis ball and went to the bathroom as I do every morning to scroll facebook and roll my sore feet while I sit there because gosh darnit I am a MULTITASKER baby and I kid you not this was at the top of my feed:

Photo Dec 15, 9 15 21 AM

Blink. Blink Blink.

Now I knew who to write a letter to. And I knew that I could lay the insecurity down and just be me. I printed things up and licked the stamp and sent it on it’s way to the gym on the other side of town.

And waited.

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not on fighting the old

by MrsFatass on December 1, 2015

Photo Nov 26, 10 43 35 AM

My very first post here was almost six years ago. Six years ago! Six years ago I was a full time stay at home mom, I still had a child in diapers, I had never uttered the word crapball, or taken a Zumba class, or eaten quinoa. And when I introduced myself, I led with the fact that I was a Christian.

Had you told me upon writing that first post that in the very brief span of Almost Six Years, I would go back to work, find a fitness passion, write a blog, and meet people online that would become some of the most important in my life, I would have laughed. I would done a LITERAL lol. LLOL. I would have. When I started this blog I had a FLIP PHONE, people. A flip phone and a Facebook that I logged on to ONLY OCCASIONALLY and LOL was something I learned in an AOL chat room that meant Lots of Laughs.

Lol.

And if you would have told me in that same time span that I would have let my anxiety rage so strong that I would end up in a heap on the bathroom floor, lose (and then rediscover) my connection with Trophy Husband, become a fitness instructor, open a business, and WRITE ABOUT IT WHERE OTHER PEOPLE COULD ACTUALLY SEE?

Well. I’d think you’d gone slam crazy.

But all those things? Well, they happened.

And with each one, I fought to hold on to whatever it was BEFORE the big thing. I focus so much energy on wrestling with the old, thinking maybe I can fit the peg back in the hole you know? I mean, you guys, every single time I grocery shop I buy celery but do you know what? Nobody ever eats it. Not since my post-college, Bloody Mary Sunday days. But I still buy it because what if? What IF someday I get to have a Bloody Mary Sunday again? And my car is old and held together with band aids and twine but it’s paid for and I already know all the quirks and we drove my daughter home from the hospital in it so I couldn’t possibly get a new one. And to this day, when I throw on my denim jacket, I still prefer the way the flip phone slid perfectly into the front pocket to having to actually carry my iPhone in my hand.

Sometimes the things I want to hold on to are more serious. Like the time the woman who I thought was my best friend actually published a blog post on a “secret blog” detailing all the ways she was glad my family and I moved away. Yep. For real. And I discovered it, and politely let her know that what if she thought it was unfindable, it wasn’t. And if she wanted me to find it, well I did. And it took me a couple of years to completely sever that tie with her because change is HARD and we had other friends in the same circle and I didn’t want to cause drama because one day she might be genuinely sorry for it all, and I had just never heard of adult friends breaking up, you know?

But the thing is, holding on to that friendship? Well, it wasn’t good. Because I couldn’t be truly forgiving so not letting it go meant that the stuff that felt bad in the beginning actually started feeling awful and infected as time went on and it eventually became impossible to see her as anything but toxic and you know I’m basically a happy and positive person, so carrying around this carcass of a friendship just became too much. And eventually I let it go. But it took a long time. Way too long.

The thing is, though, that when I do finally let my life evolve, and I get on the other side of it, there is always a realization that I should have just let it happen when it was supposed to. Because life on the OTHER side of change is usually way better. Even though it can be different, it is usually better. My best friends today are of a different caliber than before; they are my family and my heart and they love me and my husband and my children and my dogs. But until I let that old relationship go, I couldn’t find them.

Now I’ve found them.

So. Last week, we taught our last class at trio fitness.

This was another change that was a long time coming. I can’t go back and say definitively THIS is the moment that we should have closed, or at least I won’t go back and do that because if I think about things too much, my heart crackles like when you walk on ice. But the truth is, we fought some pretty weird juju right from the start. Waking up one morning to an email from one of our partners saying basically that she just didn’t want to own a business anymore, so could we please take over her share of the work, debt, bills and responsibilities so she could go re-join the old gym and go on about her life? Pretty weird juju. Weirder yet, having an instructor who, in the first year, made more money than the rest of us combined, but refused to provide a social security number and insisted she worked for us as a volunteer, not an employee.

No. I’m not joking. Also I have made a good friend at the IRS now, which I suppose is never a bad thing.

Anyway, it was just kind of hard thing after hard thing and it seemed like life became more about dodging bullets and staying ahead of the beast than it was about inspiring people to live a healthier lifestyle. And while I understand that a big part of business ownership is about exactly that – staying ahead of the beast – the best part of trio, the classes and the clients and the relationships, well those things were more and more being left up to others to handle so I could run the business and have something left over to give my family too. And one day I just finally accepted that it was time.

And once I said the words out loud, I realized how right they sounded.

Closing the studio has never ever ever been about the clients. Quite the opposite. Our clients are why we kept the doors open as long as we did. Our clients are the absolute icing on the cake. And I could not have been more proud of our staff. I still can’t find words for how tremendously awesome it was to be part of a team chock full of talented, engaging, compassionate trainers and instructors and so for now those words will have to do. Tremendously awesome. TREMENDOUSLY.

Closing the studio is really just about peace. And about being able to get back to doing what I love. And about being present for my family again. And about peace.

Someday soon I’ll have to tell you all about the day I found Victory. The day that I, that MrsFatass , in all of her sweaty glory, put together a resume and dressed all in black and marched my big behind into that gym with a goal to find a new job, and came out finding a new home. For all of us. Because you know there is a story, and I will tell it. And it will be a re-introduction of MrsFatass. The sassy Christian woman who presented herself almost 6 years ago, who had a journey to embark on, who invited the blogosphere to come along.

It’s time to build the new.

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we make the rockin’ world go ’round

by MrsFatass on August 19, 2015

A million moons ago I wrote a post called The Bikini Promise. Basically it was my ode to not waiting for perfect circumstances to do something you want to do. For me, it started with a bikini, and while I needed some platform sandals, lipstick and a wide brimmed floppy hat to carry off the whole look for a while, with cocktails practice, the costume pieces began to fade away and now a 2-piece bathing suit is my style of choice and I don’t apologize or make excuses for it.

Over the years, whether on purpose or by beautiful, messy accident, I’ve continued to live by my Bikini Promise. When I tiptoed into my first Zumba class I had no idea that within a year I’d be teaching them. Since writing about my awkward foray into the world of fitness instruction in June, 2011 I’ve obtained 14 additional licenses/certifications for branded fitness programs or fitness credentials. I’ve traveled the country chasing opportunities to teach master classes and to empower people to MOVE NOW, my friends are fitness movers and shakers, and LO AND BEHOLD I joined forces with a dance fitness powerhouse and Trio Fitness was born.

Had I waited until I LOOKED like a “fitness instructor” to take that first step, I’d still be standing in the back row of somebody else’s class.

So. In keeping with that theme, THIS happened:
Photo Aug 16, 5 14 58 PM

Yep. This fat chick is a certified nutrition coach. Cer-tee-feyyyyed.

In Savannah, Steve and I led the Fitblogger Tough Love session, wherein I sort of came internally unglued about my lack of progress on the actual weight loss front. Because, while I have a body that can jump and bend and run and move with ease, one that is strong and healthy and one that does pretty much everything I ask it to do without protesting, I have not lost the weight that I set out to lose when I typed my first post.

In 2009.

Blink. Blink blink.

So why not go get a certification in nutrition coaching, because that’s the logical next step, right? Why shouldn’t I help people break sugar addictions and change their body composition and reveal their beautiful sculpted muscles and . . . lose weight? I’m totally qualified.

Yeah. It’s backward. It’s nuts. It’s dumb. It’s straight from the department of Do As I Say, Not As I Do.

But? It’s happening.

A string of circumstances that began with a program called R.I.P.P.E.D.® led me to a book called Body Confidence by Mark MacDonald, and if you all were sitting around the house and all of a sudden felt the earth move? That was me getting my world rocked. Not because it was some big secret revealed or the answer to the mind bendy-est riddle (what? That’s a word). But because he said it all in such a way that my inner fatass felt competent and also dare I say CONFIDENT that I could do better.

I texted Sam immediately and said READ THIS BOOK IT WAS MADE FOR TRIO. And she did. And she agreed. And I got on the website to find out more and THERE IT WAS! A class to take. A certificate to earn. Tools to help me teach other inner fatasses how to have a better relationship with real food. I spent the summer practicing DOING the program and practicing TEACHING the program and figuring out how to match each client to each method and talking about all the bullshit that makes weight loss hard and you know what? I helped clients feel better. I helped clients try new foods. I helped clients put down the MLM juices and powders and pills and learn to put food into their bodies without guilt or shame. And…they lost weight. A LOT of it!

And together they began tackling the issues that got them to this place. Together. Commiserating and bonding and learning. Forming their very own ‘tribe’.

And they are forming or finding or creating their very own Body Confidence.

So. I am doing it. I am a Nutrition Coach and my inner fatass is just going to have to get comfortable with the idea. Because really, who knows more about how to lose 20, 50, 100, however many pounds than someone who has tried, repeatedly, for a lifetime?

If you’d like to join me, you can.
20 Day JumpStart September
When I posted on Facebook that I passed my exam, lots of my online/Fitbloggin’ friends reached out to find out if we could work together. And I prefer to come from a place of yes, so here we go… I’m launching my coaching business with a JumpStart, which gives us a month to get acclimated to all the basics of the program. You can live here in my town and we can do some of this face to face, or you can live in Timbuktu. As long as you have internet access, we can get this done together! At the end of the 28 days, hopefully you have mastered things and are off on a life of health and confidence! But, if you’d like to continue on in a group, we can make that happen too.

So, if you’re someone who has weight to lose, whatever the amount, this 28 days will be a great way to practice the program. If you don’t really have weight to lose, but are looking to change your body composition, this 28 days will be a great way to practice the program. If you work out and eat very healthy, but aren’t seeing the physical results or sculpt you want to see, this 28 days will be a great way to practice the program. If you think you are a super healthy eater but still have highs and lows and are sluggish in the gym, guess what? This 28 days will be a great way to practice the program.

BEWARE: I’m not selling you a pill or a potion or a green powder or a juice that will cure your gout/anxiety/migranes/halitosis. I am not going to tell you that you can achieve amazing results by eating fried chicken and ice cream. I’m not saying this will be easy or effortless.

But I can help you do better tomorrow than you did yesterday.

And yes, my ass is still fat. But it’s less fat. And the fatass on the inside is on notice.

Sue Full Body
If you’d like to join Trio’s Premiere 28 Day JumpStart, call me at 1.844.TrioFit or email me at TrioFitness@yahoo.com. The group’s introductory price is $50 and includes a health and fitness assessment, goal setting, and program orientation (appointments MUST be scheduled on or before September 4th to ensure adequate time for food planning and preparation), 28 days of online group coaching via private Facebook group (begins September 8), and 4 one-on-one “check ins” with me.

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tables

by MrsFatass on July 29, 2015

I'm only cringing a little at the use of the word "them"

I’m only cringing a little at the use of the word “them”

My friend sent me that meme yesterday and it’s been stuck in my head. It’s funny how quickly things can change. One minute you’re riding your beach cruiser through the neighborhood with the kids, the next minute you are being fitted for a road bike. One minute you are floating in the pool with a beverage, the next you are asking your friend to help you put on your swim cap. One minute you’re cruising the couch with a bag of Ruffles and a Netflix binge, the next minute you’re a Triathlete.

One minute, you’re drifting or feeling helpless, the next minute you’re presented with the opportunity to have an impact.

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster week. Once a month I have a week where my teaching schedule completely changes, where I get a minute to breathe and get caught up. Owning a business – any business – means that it pretty much lives in your brain twenty four hours a day. So when I have THAT WEEK where I’m leading fewer than 10 classes, I have BIG PLANS of the paperwork I’ll catch up on and the things I’ll get done around the house and the mornings I’ll sleep in til 8 and so on. This week I thought you can really get started on your training! Biking and running and swimming, oh my!

And JUSTLIKETHAT, the tables were turned.

MrsFatass might have a REAL job owning a REAL business where she REALLY teaches fitness classes, but this week she learned that…she really doesn’t work out that much.

And this Triathlon Training is REAL working out.

And it’s REALLY kicking my tail.

As much as I encourage clients to cross train, I have done none. And I’m more exhausted in my OFF week than I am when I’m ON. Teaching classes is NOT the same as TAKING classes. TRAINING someone is not the same as BEING TRAINED. If an instructor or a trainer is looking at your class or appointment as a chance for them to get a workout, FIND A NEW ONE. Do I burn calories and expend energy when I teach? Absolutely. But it those classes are not MY workout. I’m there to focus on YOU.

But when I’m out at the track or in the pool or on the road, I get to focus on me and holy crapballs I am tired.

THANK GOODNESS for having a team. Because I could have quietly walked away two weeks ago when I almost died totally bonked on the side of the road during a bike workout and thought I saw my life flash before my eyes realized that I have some endurance work to do. And even though I said I was going to break off and crawl ride home, for them to keep going, they rallied around me, the one who is supposed to be IN CHARGE for Pete’s sake, and delivered me safely home.

Our team is pretty amazing. I see the photos they post and the hashtags they use and the smiles on their faces and I know I’m part of something that is pretty extraordinary. The faith we have in each other is so strong. This is a big group of women that has no drama, or conflict, or henpecking, or any of those negative “stereotypes” that exist about us. Positivity and strength and wicked senses of humor abound. And with every text or photo that is sent to me, with LOTS OF EXCLAMATION POINTS to convey the excitement of a bike purchase, a run nailed, a swim lesson accomplished, another trip to the bike store, I want to just explode with pride.

Sometimes the most innocuous few words snowball into a supersized result.

I'm thinking about doing a triathlon...

I’m thinking about doing a triathlon…

And BOOM! How those tables have turned.

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on being an adult

by MrsFatass on July 23, 2015

Fixed Screenshot
My heart began to pound so hard I could feel it in my eardrums. When I realized that this wasn’t some joke, when I realized that you were a hundred miles away from me, uncomfortable and anxious with your own butterflies beating at your chest, I had a moment of pure gratitude. Gratitude. Thankfulness for each and every morning that you and I drove from Thing Two’s school to yours, with that extra ten minutes to sit in the car and talk until it was time for you to go.

There were mornings when I was busy or when my to-do list was long, when I silently wished that once in a while you’d ride the bus. Thank God, though, that the bus comes too early and thank God that you and I both want to sleep until the last possible minute and thank God we had 180 mornings (give or take) to talk in the car about this and that and everything, and thank God you have heard me say over and over again that all you have to do when you feel like you’ve gotten in over your head is to call me. When you are at a party and somebody starts passing around a joint, when you experiment with drinking beer and feel like you’re going to puke, when whatever plan you thought you made turns into something that is not at all what you wanted, all you have to do is call me. Call. Me. Calllllmeeee.

Yesterday was like deja vu, finding out that things were not what they seemed, and that once again you were in over your head; that again you were put there by this dad, and again you had a situation forced upon you that you just knew wasn’t right. We believed the situation had changed, and I told the internets you that this woman would never have a chance to mistreat you again. But, after months and months of her absence, you were blindsided with the news that she was on her way there. And you were a hundred miles away from home, worried that this ‘adult’ was again going to be ugly to you, or to me, or to your dad. And even with your friend saying he’d hide away in the bedroom with you so you wouldn’t have to be around her, even with the promise of swimming and boating and go carts all laid out in front of you, still you knew nothing good was going to come of any of this. You knew something wasn’t right.

So you called me.

You called me! You callllllleeeed mmmmeee. You did exactly what I said you should always do, and I did exactly what I’d been promising. We dropped everything, hopped in the car, and came to the beach. We brought you home.

You are at an age right now where you can’t wait to grow up. You think that being An Adult means that you’ll be able to do anything you want. No permission to be sought. No approval. And somehow you think that this sought after adulthood comes by turning a certain age or by acquiring certain characteristics. When you were younger, you thought it was determined by height. More recently, by the appearance of armpit hair. And of course you see the magic number 18 off in the distance.

But as your mom, I’m here to remind you that while yes you might legally be an adult when you and your armpit hair turn 18, adulting is nothing special. Everybody gets to do it just by getting old enough. It’s just a technicality. You can be an adult, but have no maturity. You can still be spoiled, or reckless, or selfish, or even downright stupid, but still call yourself an adult simply because you’re middle aged old enough.

Nope. There is more to it than just surviving your teen years. And I suspect that you are beginning to figure that out. Probably more than any conversation we’ve had in the last few months, I think that what you saw unfold last night taught you a lot about the difference between ‘technical adult’ and real man. As your father and your friend’s father stood in the driveway blinking at each other, one having just driven two hours to rescue you from the drama, the other all red faced from wine and defensive, it was pretty clear to you which one you plan to emulate.

You fell asleep in the car on the way back from the beach last night, but this morning you came in and curled up next to me ready to talk it out. We spent a little time rehashing the story, connecting the dots, trying to figure out when she became part of this picture again, and speculating as to why he would have invited her without mentioning it to his own son, or to us, or to the rest of the family staying in the beach house. We talked a little bit about secrets and breakups and divorces and giving second chances, and then you got quiet for a moment. Thinking something over.

You know what mom? you said. I’m grateful.

Grateful? That’s a big word. Tell me what you’re grateful for, I replied.

Well a big reason is because you came to get me. I was worried about that because I was so far away.

Silly goose. I will always come get you. I’d go anywhere to get you if you needed me. Now you know.

I’m just glad God put me in this family and not a different one. I don’t like drama. We’re just normal. It’s not stressful here. I’m thankful to be home.

I am too, baby. I’m so thankful you’re home. And I know that when the time comes to be an adult, you will be a great one.

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