I used to be a runner.
I'd get up at 5 a.m. to run 3, 5, 10 miles... I loved the feeling of starting my day with a good sweat and a feeling of accomplishment, and the company of whomever chose to run that morning was always a pleasure. Then there were days I'd reset my alarm and not get up, just because I wanted a few extra minutes of sleep. I took for granted the luxury of going (or not going) any time I wanted.
Now I'm a mommy trying to squeeze in a morning run. And when you're a mommy desperate to hit the pavement, you do crazy things, like getting up at 4:15 to pump before you head out so your big ol' girls don't snap off while you're running. You choose activity over sleep, as little as you get on your own. You actually become desperate for the company of other people while you work out, because Jillian Michaels, Anita, and Natalie have the same thing to say every day.
And you have mornings like today.
I got up as previously mentioned at 4:15 to pump. I had 3 minutes left, ready to throw on some shorts and my Nikes and head out the door, when the babyson awoke. Never mind that he should have slept at least 2, if not 3, more hours. He was hungry and in need of comfort, so I quickly texted Jen to ask if we could meet at 5:15 instead of 5. I can still make this work, I was thinking, as I headed into his room. I scooped him up, planted a few kisses on those precious cheeks, and sat down in the glider to feed him. And that poor baby tried and tried and tried to eat, but there was nothing left in there. Tried him on one side. Nada. Tried the other. More of the same. I had apparently pumped every last drop, and my sweet son was getting frustrated and desperate.
Okay, no worries. I grabbed a bottle of the milk I'd just pumped and tried that. He sucked it down in a matter of minutes and gave a sigh of relief, and I then expected him to nod off at any second. But I had forgotten one thing. Because he rarely gets a bottle, it's somewhat of a novelty, and it doesn't seem to soothe him back to sleep like breastfeeding does. I picked him up to burp him, thinking I could still lay him down, but there was no chance. He was wide awake, looking around at anything and everything he could make out in the dim light and cooing contentedly. I sadly picked up my phone to let Jen know I'd have to sit this one out, and went back to rocking my little man. He was awake for at least 30 more minutes, completely delighted to have some extra cuddle time, before he finally fell asleep. And now here I am, wide awake myself, but with nowhere to go and no one to meet me.
The funny thing is, this happens more mornings than I care to admit. It's like Milo knows I'm about to head out and does everything in his groggy power to keep me here. And yet, it's impossible to be irritated when you look down and see the true face of adoration, beaming up at you in the soft glow of the nightlight. Will I ever feel the road flying beneath me again, the wind in my hair, the miles stretching out behind me like conquered foes? Not today. This mommy-runner will have to instead make a date with Jillian to Shred alone (Level 2 - my calves are literally being torn in half) and know that her biggest fan is now asleep in his crib, and to him, it doesn't matter how many miles I've run. It just matters that I'm here.