“Babe, there is a guy who teaches Pekiti-Tirsia Kali down the hill. It’s Filipino blade fighting! It costs the same for 2 people as it does for one so you have someone to spar with.”
“Well…” I wrapped him in my arms, “…I thought it would be fun to do together. *kiss* As a date night. *kiss*”
He laughed harder.
“Blade fighting? No. I’m a 40-year-old man.”
“No you’re not.”
“Almost. And you are 35. You don’t start with weapons training right out the gate. You need to learn some other martial arts first. Why not do karate first?”
“You make us sound like old codgers! I asked and you don’t need any martial arts background to start.”
“That’s because they want your money.”
“Well, Caren said she would do it with me. Said she would love to kick my ass.”
Man left the kitchen while I continued to chop vegetables.
“Besides,” I said when he returned, “I can’t become Chikara if I’m not trained with weapons.”
He dodged the knife that I was slicing through the air.
“Exactly,” he laughed.
“You know that I don’t really think I’m a superhero, right? I’m just having fun.”
“It’s starting to get harder to tell. Why don’t you find a karate class?”
“I told you. Karate is weapons free.”
“You would be the only woman in the class.”
“So now I can’t do it because I’m a GIRL?!”
“That’s not what I said.”
“It’s implied. Plus I already asked about that and he says there are 3 other ladies who he trains.”
“What is this about?”
“I don’t know. I’m bored I guess. I’ve called the hospital to see if I could volunteer in the PICU or No One Dies Alone program. I haven’t heard back yet. I just…why do you think a stay-at-home mom would possibly have dreams about being a superhero?”
He just looked at me. The look said, “you really are spoiled.”
He took the kids to their karate class and I fumed while No Doubt’s “I’m Just A Girl”
blared in my head. “All pretty and petite!”
This morning I woke up with The Bug snuggling up to me.
“Good morning Mama,” he whispered.
“Mama, why does Buddy do everything right and I do everything wrong?”
Seriously? I am not awake enough for this.
“Bug, you do lot’s of things right. Remember yesterday when you were using such good manners at Caren’s? Remember I told you how pleased I was with you that you had a good attitude and used good manners? You have had an exceptional week. You’ve done a great job getting ready for school on time and speaking to me respectfully.”
“I’m gonna get up and make us all scrambled eggs!”
“That would be lovely.”
It was a good start to my day but I felt heavy-hearted. That Man had really hurt my feelings yesterday. Old. Woman. That’s what he said. I reluctantly put on my work out gear.
Yeah. This is probably not going to happen today.
I wanted to just put on some comfy jeans and a big sweater, lay down on my bed and have a good cry. I am becoming one of “those” women. You read about them in books. They are middle-aged and complain because they have nothing to show for it but their children. Their children leave. Their husbands keep working at their flourishing careers. The woman is supposed to stand at the door waving with a smile as everyone goes. Her life’s reward is that she helped them all succeed. When ever I read about those women and about how depressed or mad that they were that they did nothing with their lives I would laugh. What a bunch of ridiculous brats! And maybe those words describe me well too.
As I drove the boys to school “Life Song” played on the radio. I cried and tried to keep my tears secret from the boys. If you are not familiar with the song it is basically about how we want our lives to be a song of worship to God. A friend once told me about a monk who cooked for the monastery. He said that his meals were his worship to God. I thought back on all of the laundry I finally got done yesterday.
Yea God. I’ve got to do more with myself than laundry.
I dropped Buddy off at band and escorted Bug to his class. There he talked on and on and on about this new video game he has heard about. I went into my own thoughts, interjecting “Really?” and “Sounds Cool” every now and again.
I am skipping the gym. Ugh. I hate feeling so down. Definitely not going to be able to run. I’m going to get Starbuck’s right after this.
I imagined myself dragging myself up to the counter:
“Tall, caramel machiatto. Decaf. Dirty.”
“Lot’s of whipped cream and caramel. Dirty. Nasty if you can.”
It was time for school to start so I told Bug good-bye and headed down the hall. Usually I leave through the classroom door that leads outside but for some reason I thought I’d go out the front of the school. Just then JD came down the hallway. She is The Bug’s teacher and my friend. Now SHE is a force to reckon with!
“Hey! Hey! Come here!” she said and she hooked my elbow, turned me around and pulled me into her classroom. “You look awesome! And I’m not just saying that. Seriously! Look at you! I read your blog by the way. I haven’t read the follow-up yet but I plan to. Bug! Look at your mom! Doesn’t she look great?!”
The Bug and JD are peas in a pod. They are both big talkers and loud talkers. You have to be quick to get a word in with these too. And I am a Talking PRO!
“Are you on your way to the gym now or did you already go?”
“No. I’m…supposed to go after this but I am just so down today. Just not up for it.”
“Come here!” she pulled me over behind her desk. “We need to have a personal conference.” She shooed all of her students away from her desk. “Excuse me! I am having a personal conference here with Bug’s mom. Independent reading time!” The kids dispersed and dove into their books.
“What is this about?” she asked.
I told her about the previous night and my need to DO something.
“Look, I know Man. He is a good man and takes good care of you and…everyone really, and he LOVES his wife. Maybe he thinks it would make you unfeminine.”
“No. Because he said I could do karate.”
“Oo! We should take a boxing class together!”
“That would be awesome. I just need to beat something. I can’t just be a house keeper!”
“No. You can’t. You need to be challenged. Tell Man that. What about a show?”
“My family has made it clear that they need that to just be a once a year thing. I just think it would be so fun! He thinks I’m silly. The whole superhero thing…”
“Do you seriously not see yourself that way? I think your kids do! I know I do. I think you and Caren both are amazing and are real superwomen.”
“Go run. Get mad. It will fuel your run. When I run sometimes I just yell and chew myself out. Go have a fight with your body!”
“I was thinking…Starbucks.”
“You should write a book!”
Ug. I’ve tried that before.
I got in the car and headed toward home, Starbucks…something. It’s all the same direction. I argued with myself, with God, and with Man in my head. I drove and argued and then looked up and found that I was in the parking lot of the gym.
How? Fine. 10 minutes.
I went in and got set up with my music but I dropped my iPod and it mixed up the music. Instead of my running list it played something random. Norah Jones’ “Feeling The Same Way.”
“Another day that I can’t find my head,
My feet don’t look like their my own.
I’ll try to find the floor below to stand.
I hope I reach it once again.
Chorus: And I’m feelin’ the same way all over again.
Feelin’ the same way all over again.
Feelin’ the same way all over again.
Singing the same lines all over again.
No matter how much I pretend.”
Sing it Norah. This is a nice pace. I think I’ll just walk today. I’ll walk 2 miles and quit.
“So many time I’ve wondered where I’ve gone
And how I found my way back in.
I look around awhile for something lost
Maybe I’ll find it in the end.
The song ended and I kept up my stroll, ready for another smooth jam to play but then…
“Huh! Huh! Haaaaaaaaa!” Black Eyed Peas “Pump It Up” came on. No one. I mean, NO ONE can walk to that song. I increased my pace and ran.
Then I got a text from my cousin.
Cousin: Dirty River Boys are playing here tonight!
Me: Go or you are dead to me.
Then she gave me this story about why she can’t go.
Me: I don’t want to hear your excuses.
We volleyed texts for a bit. I looked at the display on the treadmill and I had run for 12 minutes.
OK. 30. No…20. I still feel too blue.
I had a few more texts with my cousin.
Workouts are supposed to give you endorphins. God! Chikara is nothing without you. I am nothing. You know that I know this. Please get me out of this pit of self loathing, pity, boredom….whatever. Help me out.
Do you not think I have been? Who do you think put JD in your path this morning? Who practically steered your car here? Who has been DJ-ing the radio and your iPod? Who sent you distractions? Look at the display now.
I had run for 21 minutes.
Hm. He made a good point. Turning up my iPod, I pushed through the last 8 minutes with my superhero cape blowing behind me.