My family has never been accused of half-heartedness. We tend to go all-in, and wisdom or even sanity doesn't always play the role it should. Sometimes this is a beautiful thing. Like when Mom and Dad took all of us - 10 adults and 10 kids (aged 11, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 4, 3, 21 months and 18 months) on a cruise, or when my mom came out and painted my kitchen, living room, study and basement almost entirely by herself in a long weekend, or when we somehow got the entire family across the country to Seattle for Aaron and Angela's wedding. That excursion involved about four airlines, two pregnant women and five children under the age of 7, plus a slew of extended family and friends. Another time I took 21 hours in summer school. Why? I really can't remember. Maybe because taking 18 was just plain old hard and I was shooting for crazy? Other times, this over-the-top mindset doesn't work out so well. Like when I decided to take my 4-year-old, 2-year-old and 8-month-old hiking by myself. I ended up with Jacob strapped to my back, Bryan strapped to my chest and David having a breakdown because I wouldn't carry him. I think the only reason he made it back to the car is that he really thought I would leave him in the woods if he didn't keep going. Then there was the time I flew by myself halfway across the country with 4 small children. It was ugly. (See here). Truly.
Well, in a more recent part-ill-advised, part-fierce-and-cool adventure, a group of us did the Tour de Rock bike ride last weekend. Part of it turned out well. Mom was awesome in the 62-mile ride. Even after a crash, David rocked out the 30-mile ride with his dad. I know you're waiting for a "but". First let's discuss the butthead. That would be the man who sent his wife a video of an approaching ambulance, their son's bike crashed on the side of the road, then their son sitting on the side of the road with a scraped knee (but possible head injury!!!) and no accompanying text. It reminds me of the time my little brother went to a camp that required he write a letter home periodically. He sent my mom this characteristic gem of male communication:
Dear Mom and Dad, I went to the hospital. Love, Aaron.
Anyway, David got back on his bike and finished like a rock star.
Moving on, the other four of us did the 100-mile ride. Wait, you might say, wasn't there a 62-mile option? Isn't that still a really long way? Is it really necessary to ride another FORTY miles beyond that? Well, we did 60 miles with flair. But at mile 60 we hit a strong headwind and must have limped into the 70 mile rest stop looking pretty rough because the ladies at the stop ran out to us carrying water and iced towels. But once you decide to do a 100-mile ride, you finish - even if that means one of you loses consciousness and two require IV fluids at the finish.
At the finish line, John's face was twitching in a weird way, so the medic started him on an IV. While that was happening, my dad started looking a little spacey and said, "No? No? I'm not okay?" in a marijuana kind of voice when asked if he was okay. HUGE RED FLAG. In my family we whine, we moan and complain, but while continuing to soldier on through whatever insanity we've decided must be done. We do not ever, under any circumstances admit we are not okay.
Everyone is fine now, although I sustained psychological damage because my dad can't close his eyes and faint gracefully like in the movies. He did this open-mouthed, eyes rolling back in his head thing like he was having a stroke. I started to lose it but then remembered that the unconscious guy on the pavement probably needed all the attention.
Both guys are doing fine now, and really, why finish here
|Dad was the only one of us not sprawled on the ground at this 70 mile stop.|
when you can finish here?