For Bryan’s birthday (aka Memorial Day to the uneducated), we spent a day lazily wandering around, napping as we felt like it, and gorging on platters of splendor. OH HAHA JUST KIDDING, BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW HOW TO BE LAZY.
We got up at 6:30 to start preparing for the race. Tony and I had done some prep work the night before as well:
And Bryan must be Tony’s favorite parent because he gifted Bryan’s sign with a portrait of Beekey:
(You’ll notice Beekey’s “hairs” on top of her head. She looks like a Kewpie doll to me.)
And we met Aunt Gee and Dude at a Starbucks for pre-race child-swapping.
Where Aunt Gee and Dude totally geared Tony up with a breakfast of champions.
And then off we went!
Of course, since there were roughly 2k people running our race, it was a LEEEETLE crowded when we got there, but through determination (and me ditching Bryan), I was able to find my running group. (Said Bryan, before I ditched him, “I’m not walking anymore. I’m staying here.” I was like Yes, Lord forbid you WALK before the 5k you’re about to RUN. ANYWAY.) There had been tales of pace-markers for this race, folks with tall signs that would rise above the throng and tell us where to stay in the pack. Alas, they were indeed only fables, because no mythical pace-markers appeared. So we hoped that staying in the middle would work out for us. I still couldn’t find Bryan. (I had ditched him GOOD.)
The race began and I hung with Alicia and Katie for a good bit, but the heat. OH THE HEAT, Y’ALL. It was easily 90+ when the race began, with not a SINGLE FREAKING CLOUD IN THE SKY, and .. y’all know I now avoid sunscreen like the plague. (Unless you’re reading this, Dr. Tim! Then I swear I SLATHER MYSELF IN IT FROM HEAD TO TOE.) So about 1.5 miles in, I had to walk more than I ran.
But! Before we got to that point, Bryan found us! So, as is our way, we made a point of humiliating the birthday boy through song. The funny thing about “Happy Birthday” is that everyone knows it, so it’s kind of a reflex. You hear someone singing, so you join in. Soon, all the runners around us were joining in AS WE RAN and Bryan blushed and ran faster to get away from us.
BRYAN BLUSHED, Y’ALL. Never ever. This is the guy who let me take a picture of him in women’s show choir dresses.
(I guess he’s getting shy in his old age.)
Anyway, I finally made it across the finish line. (I made this STUPID ASS mantra up as I ran: Run in the sun, delayed in the shade. Because I’m apparently Rainman and need rhymes to remind me to get out of the sun.) My time was crap, but Bryan made a great time, and finished his first 5K AND my whole family turned out to hold signs and cheer him in.
(This was about the time that Tony started telling Dude he needed to pee. Which is awesome. Nothing like a little preschooler urine to cool you off.)(He didn’t ACTUALLY pee.)
After everyone made it in (me being the last, OBVIOUSLY, because why would I finish a race with a decent time, right?), the family headed to brunch while Bryan and I ran home to get the cake and presents.
We had a delicious brunch at Cracker Barrel, and there is no food more delicious than your after race celebratory meal. I’m pretty sure you could be served cold canned dog food and you’d be like YES, THIS IS THE BEST EVER CAN I HAVE SECONDS?
Post cookie-cake – because Bryan really is 12 at heart – we all headed north to pick up Jack for the rest of the day’s festivities. We had a surprise for him for his birthday (next weekend) that we were going to go look at.
See, for years now, I’ve been nudging Bryan into considering a ball python. I LOVE SNAKES and thought that it’d be a cool pet. Way cooler than, say, a STUPID CAT. But instead, we kept getting STUPID CATS. But then! Then we met VooDoo the snake. VooDoo was raised by a family that we know through theatre (he was actually IN a show with Aunt Gee and Dude several years ago), and since all of their kids are in or leaving for college, we asked if VooDoo needed a new home! And he did! So I WON!
We head north to pick up Jack and learn .. oh, they got a new puppy. NAMED VOODOO.
(Y’all, I shit you not. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES.)
So we’re all like, “Okay, yeah! Your puppy is really cool! (.. seriously, SUPER cute puppy.) Huh. Well.. um..” and we didn’t know where to go. Still do the snake thing? Are we stealing thunder? I DON’T KNOW. We debated and headed back to the house for a while. Where Jack promptly fell asleep. Yes, this day was going SWIMMINGLY.
After ten minutes of POKING JACK WITH A STICK TO WAKE UP, we headed to VooDoo’s house. They were having a barbeque, and as is their hospitality-ess (?) ways, the boys were promptly handed a hot dog and pointed to the trampoline. Which was the first hour of silence I’d had in probably five days.
(Tony has hit this mental spurt where – not even exaggerating – he NEVER STOPS TALKING. ALL THE TIME.)
So Jack was excited about VooDoo the snake. And with the blessing of the family, we agreed to rename the snake. And we loaded the snake up. And took the snake home. AND I AM SO THRILLED. Here’s Cain, our new baby:
Then we ate dinner and took Jack home. And .. I noticed it was really quiet in the car. Like, I could hear myself think. Sure enough..
I sighed deeply, happy at the silence, but also happy that it’s so often filled with chatter and laughter and squeals and tales.
Bryan and I held hands the entire drive home.