Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Catching Up: When God Sends a Flood....

Make Some Mud!!!

After the Big Earthquake and Hurricane Irene, came Tropical Storm Lee, which actually hit us the hardest of the troublesome trio. Reston received over ten inches of rain in a 24 hour period. Streets flooded, bridges collapsed, and creeks overflowed. Our basement flooded, too ....Ed and I spent eight continuous hours in our basement bailing out water and dealing with cleanup. We haven't even started the process of replacing our flooring yet. For the boys, it was one big party.....school was canceled, the boys ran around in their swimsuits and rainboots, and the neighborhood boys had the mother of all mud fights. Meteorologists said that this rainstorm was a 1 in 500 year event for our area. Lucky us.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Catching Up: Mt. Vernon and My First Quasi-Feminist Conversation with Asher

In late August, Ed's parents came to visit. To keep everyone busy and happy, Ed planned some day trips. Unfortunately, I was at the height of my summer work chaos, and missed out on the fun.

Ed hypothesized that his parents would like Mt. Vernon, and he was correct. What surprised both of us was how much the boys enjoyed it as well. Asher had a lot to tell me when I arrived home from work after their visit.

"Did you know that George Washington has a great, great big house house next to the river and she helped fight the Reds and make the country free, and she was our First President......"

Hold on. She? Asher, George Washington was a man.

"Really? But she....um I mean he....had really long hair."

Asher, that was how men wore their hair a long time ago. They grew it long and wore a braid.

"Oh." (pause for thinking) "Well, why can't a girl be a president?"

Of course a woman can be President.

"Well, have there ever been a girl President." (Yeah....we need to work on grammar and proper gender identification)

Not yet.

"Well, why not?"

I'm not exactly sure. It is hard for some people to want a woman president. They think it is a job only for a man. But they are wrong. I think we will have a woman president someday soon.

"Well, I hope so."

I do too, Asher.*

*as long as she isn't a right-wing Republican

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Catching Up: Asher's Triathlon Swim/Bike/Rundown

It was a long summer training for Asher's first triathlon.

I signed up Asher for the race, thinking it would be a fun goal for the summer. I had no idea it would stress him out so much. The questions: "What if I don't win?" "What if I drown?" "What if I get hit by a car on my bike?" "What if I get too tired?" "If I don't win, do we still get pancakes at Silver Diner?" "What if a snake bites me while I'm doing the race?" Huh?

We informally trained throughout the summer. I had him swim a few laps every time we hit our neighborhood pool. We went on bike rides. I would have him run laps around the neighborhood before bedtime, or if he seemed bored. For most of the summer, he spent more time talking about training than actually training. We rarely made our running loop around the neighborhood without Asher chatting up several neighbors about the race.

The last couple of weeks, we stepped it up a notch and did some more serious bike rides and runs. The week before the race, Asher and I biked and ran the exact course of the race together. We talked about resisting the urge to chat with everyone he saw along the race course. We also went over transitions, which are tricky for the best of triathletes. Finally, we discussed strategies to keep going when he got tired (singing the ABC song and naming kinds of dinosaurs). I told him that he shouldn't worry about winning the race, but he needed to finish and he couldn't stop.

Race day was a lot of fun. Asher surprised us all by finishing 2nd place for his age, not so much with his speed, but with his grit. When I met him at different points of the race, I was taken back by his little competitive spirit. And most important of all, we ended the morning with pancakes at Silver Diner.

Visit Asher's blog for a "photo gallery" of the event here.