The Late Night Train

I wake up between 1 and 2 a.m. most nights. And as I fall back to sleep, a train whistles in the distance.

The sound – from too far away to hear during the day when the city is beeping and shouting and slamming and singing – always takes me back a decade…

…when I was nursing our youngest son in the middle of the night. His warm little body against mine. Barely able to keep my eyes open. Imagining that the train conductor and I were the only ones in the city still awake. Or maybe a handful of people who lived too close to the tracks.

Imagining them helped me stay awake until our son rested peacefully in his crib. Now it helps me sleep.

Their First 10K

My husband and two older boys ran their first 10K race last weekend – the Boulder Boulder. I was home with our eight year old, so my experience of the race came from how they each reacted to it.

My husband immediately looked up other 10Ks in the area, eager to race again, because he wants a better qualifying time. He claims to have been slowed down by our oldest, who….

….had suggested the race and tried to train for it by doing a Couch-to-5K app on his phone. He had not yet made it to the total 5K by race day, but did really well. Proud of his run, he surprised himself by finishing the race right in the middle of his age group. “But I don’t need to run another 10K until the Boulder Boulder next year. And then I’m going to run by myself, just jog along, so you guys can race each other. Oh, and mom, you should come. You can walk.”

I can walk?! Seriously?

Our twelve year old did not train. He was along for the ride. But when the starting gun went off for their wave of racers, he took off leaving Dad and brother and everyone else in his wake. Finishing in the top 25% of his age group, he has already qualified for a much faster wave next year… a fact with which, of course, he taunted Dad.

At an average under 10-minute mile, he said, “I could have gone faster, but I did two slip-and-slides, and the second one had such a long line. Then there was the marshmallow mile. I shouldn’t have eaten it. Marshmallows and running bad! Then the post-marshmallow poop.”

“How long did that take?”

“A minute.”

“So next year, you’re going to skip all that?”

“Oh, I’m doing the slip-and-slides, and I’ll still crush Dad.”