Montana Summertime

Every summer we go home to Montana, where soda is pop, the sun is up til’ 10pm, and the kids run barefoot in the grass, climb trees and make new friends.

Montana living is different. Making a home and life in California makes it easy to see those differences. Things are less complicated. There are fewer people and distractions. There fewer places you think you need be or things you think you should be doing…..or maybe that is just vacation.

Hylite outside of Bozeman. Photo Credit: Aunt Kathy

Eight Anniversary of Coming Home

December tenth doesn’t mean much to my enthusiastic 8 year old. He doesn’t get presents and it isn’t his birthday. To me however, this day never goes by without a moment to note its very special significance. Today will always be the day we brought our first born home from his 96 day stay at California Pacific Medical Center. It was a long sleepless night for all of us.

I was terrified. I had convinced myself that babies were best cared for under the twenty-four hour attention of highly trained medical professionals and, maybe he was better off there until he is was one year old. Something so natural as bringing your baby home from the hospital seemed inconceivable for me at that time. He seemed so safe in the hospital. Bringing him home felt equivalent to running a mountain ridge with scissors in your hand.

First Ride in the car. Destination? Home!

Of course it was time and ready or not he was coming home leaving behind the sanitized medical facility for the warm and nurturing environment of home where he has continued to thrive every since.

We will never know for sure why he was born at 26 weeks and 2 days gestation. Could have been my body with an attitude problem, an incompetent cervix and an over active uterus. It was most likely not one thing but rather, a variety of factors that we solved for during my second pregnancy.

Today Eric is a growing boy so enthusiastic to start each day that he sets his alarm clock in case his internal clock which, rises him with the sun, fails him. He begins his day immediately asking the questions on his mind and talking about the plan for the day. He winds down at bedtime, all tucked in his cozy upper bunk-bed, talking and squirming and processing the activities of the day to himself as he falls asleep, smiling most the while.

Loving his home

He is always moving and never content to sit still. He doesn’t have ADHD. In fact he pays close attention to what is going on around him picking up on conversations I would have rather he missed. This is just his temperament.   

Observing his temperament and comparing it much to my own has lead me to believe that our combined temperaments of being early risers, morning learners, and active people had something to do with why Eric was pushed out by my eager to contract uterus.

His introduction to our home and the world outside has been slow and steady, and eight years later his temperament has remained true. He is busy, active, and social despite his seemingly sheltered two years of “baby steps”.

I guess what leads me to write these words is the fact that I was told by many people who had not experienced what I had experienced that I was harming his social development by not doing things like taking him into crowded places like day cares, grocery stores, or shopping malls. To those people I say LOOK At US NOW! Oh how far we have come. His temperament and my own would never have allowed us to stay put long! 

Happy to be Home After Living Abroad

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Why we run for more

There is that moment where you know you are about to accomplish something really big. Something you have thought about often, worked towards, or dreamed of doing. You realize you’re doing it and you grin from ear to ear; and maybe even tears roll down your cheeks. At CLIF we call this Meet the Moment.

After Eric was born I did not begin running again for a long time. It was one of many things that fell away because I only had enough strength, attention, energy, and focus for him. I was barely capable of speaking or eating let alone running. But two months after he came home, running was calling me back and I answered.

It was an overcast day in February in the Richmond district of San Francisco, our home at the time. It probably took me longer to put my running clothes on than it did to actually run. I was apprehensive, afraid to leave Eric’s side even in the capable hands of his Dadda. You see, I watched him, held him, fed him ALL day. He had full-time observation during his days in the NICU and weening away from that need was difficult. I was anxious but the need, if even for just a few minutes, for fresh air and freedom pulled me out the door where for nine whole blocks I slowly and with heavy breath put one foot in front of the other. I struggled and remembered what it was like to start running for the first time. It was like I was starting over, and I smiled. 

Before Eric came along, my relationship with running had become nothing more than a calorie-counting-forced-slog. It was in those difficult nine blocks that running became anew. Even through my heavy breath and tired body I felt light, free, and grateful to have a body and mind that was capable of accomplishing more.

Nine blocks turned into clicking off miles, running with friends, and signing up for half-marathons. Six weeks postpartum with Noah I was ready to once again start over only this time I was ready to “be fast” again and I bought my first running watch.

At mile 24 of the Nike Women’s Marathon 2011 I smiled at the realization that I was going to run under a 4 hour marathon. I smile as I approach the finish lines of every race. If I could go from barely completing nine blocks to doing this, what else could I do? I am hooked on the feeling that not only am I capable, but that we are all capable so why shouldn’t we all try to do “that thing” we think we can not do. When someone says “You are crazy” or “Oh,I could never do that” two things come to mind:

1) I would be crazy not to do this thing.  

2) You could do it if it was something you wanted to do.

At Clif Bar & Company we call this #meetthemoment . What is your moment going to be today?