I sprang into action, grabbing one of each and then, moving safely out of harm's way, texted Tom, Brian and Manny about this deal -why? Because friends don't let friends overpay for beer!
With Cody safely on his way to his track meet, I turned to the little ones. Tonio had First Holy Communion practice at 10:30. Autumn's birthday party she was going to was from 12-3. I needed to clone myself. Quickly. Amy came to the rescue, taking Aut from me at 10 to play 'little big planet' with Alex and then she dropped her off at the party. Meanwhile, I struggled to stay focused during First Holy Communion, where, they inexplicably made us watch a show about some Italian immigrants who liked to bake bread for Easter. I know it must have meant something, but my exhausted mind could not grasp it. Cody and Dawn Ball, who's son Nathan runs track too, were texting me from the meet. Cody had placed 3rd out of 9 runners in the 100 M sprints! Dawn said she would bring him home for me if he ran his second race, the 4 x 100 M relay, before I could get there.
After the meeting, Lupe, Manny and Monsi took Antonio for me...and I was alone...it was a weird, almost out of control feeling, as I replayed in my mind who had which bambini and how I would bring them all back together and when...meanwhile, Dawn texted that Cody still had time before his next race and, I might just be able to make it downtown to Tucson High and catch it. I hurried. Only to discover that the street fair was going on and there was no where to park!!! I circled the stadium, anxiously looking - I often make my own spots, but I noticed that our money grubbing city officials, who can't keep baseball, or any other sport for that matter, in Tucson to save their lives, had decided to capitalize on the resourceful parkers, like myself and had a special 'Ticket Task Force' writing tickets like overpaid politicians making speeches. This task forces actually had polos that had 'Ticket Task Force' on the back, in bold letters, similiar to what you would see on the back of an 'F.B.I.' or 'D.E.A.' agent. It was surreal.
At last, I found a legit spot on the corner of 1st street and 6th ave and literally sprinted the two blocks to the stadium, cursing my decision to wear flip flops the entire way. I made it. Cody ran like the wind! He is so fast and I cannot describe the energy he transmits - I felt as though I was out their running next to him (thank God I was not - it was blazing hot, 96 degrees and I would have melted.). The stands radiated the suns rays - it felt good. But behind me, was a couple from Pennsylvania who could not shut up about how hot it was. And how brown Tucson is. And how they miss water - that there are creeks that run year round in Pennsylvania. Making fun of the Santa Cruz...finally, I broke. I slowly turned around and said 'how soon you moving back?'...
Cody, far right, prepares to run faster than you or I could ever hope to run!
His feet barely touch the ground...
At the finish line...I love the architecture in this part of Tucson - I should have taken a better shot of the building across the street - it is a private school and it beautiful.
Kimmy loved to watch Cody run...we'd bring cushions, though, because the bleachers were so hard (flat butt) and would get pretty hot, too. And Kimmy would yell! She would get so excited - surprising most of the fans surrounding us...I'm sure she was cheering for Cody - he seemed to be even faster than normal...
It was after two, less than an hour to go get Aut - so we hustled out of there...Cody had been there nearly 7 hours - and they don't feed you during these things! I sent him with Gatorade and power bars (good Dad) but no sunscreen (bad Dad) - I forget how white the bambini are, as I've never really needed sunscreen - I always tell them I should have rubbed more olive oil on them at birth!
We got Aut on time, who had fun at the party and now I had 2/3 of my life back in focus. I called Lupe and Manny and told them to come over for dinner - and Betsey and Brian came too - we made turkey burgers and I made a bean bruschetta recipe featured on Jesse Silver's blog (Cody's teacher at Desert Sky), The Happy Go Lucky Vegan (link below on right side of blog above music bar). It was great! But, the evening ended in tragedy as Mitchell had his lip split open by Tonio's shovel and Betsey and Brian rushed him to TMC for 6 stitches!! He was so brave and was so worried about Tonio, who he heard crying for him as they whisked him out of our house! Tonio ended up throwing up, his little nerves getting the best of him, feeling so bad for his little friend!
Hadley stayed with us until everyone got back from TMC around 9ish, watching movies with Aut.
To keep things fluid, this morning after church and Viro's (too much to eat again!) - Cody talked me into a ride through Fantasy Island - despite the temp climbing towards 90...he ran me through hard - the first half, I did keep up with him, past Kimmy's bike, keeping silent vigil in the palo verde tree - Cody pointed as we flew by. His pace is just fast. Fast. And I was losing steam...my mind kept wandering towards the clouds, curling and wispy in the sky...trying hard to make sense of them, to find meaning in them, something. Anything...tears filling my eyes and rolling down my face - no wait, not tears, sweat. My helmet, unnaturally containing the heat. And a weekend of imbibing in the 'hood catching up to me - did my sweat smell/taste like beer? Just my imagination.
The second leg of this 5 mile trail we were hurtling down, is an uphill grade. I saw Cody pull over up ahead - a mirage? Of sorts. He wasn't tired or thirsty, he sensed my imminent break down. My lungs were burning, a ghost of a memory of the 15 or so years that I was a smoker (another deadly habit Kim finally broke me of!), my 3 shot espresso was camped out in my chest. The wonderful, marinated crushed red peppers, that Nikki liberally applies to my omelet, was a burning ball of fire in my stomach. 'Water Dad?' Cody asked. I could only nod my head.
When we got going again, I tried hard to look at the clouds, to make shapes, signs out of them - but it was impossible...then, we came up behind a family slowing making their way through Fantasy Island. Oh, the slow down was wonderful! Cody was anxious to pass - I panted 'Cody, no, take your time!'. They pulled over, politely - and, we asked how they were doing, did they need water. They did not and they asked how our ride was going.
Once you are inside the confines of Fantasy Island, it is like a community. You know noone, but everyone. There is such commaraderie and courtesy to everybody you come across. It's like meeting an old friend - offering to help, wishing them well, etc. It feels good.
I dragged myself along the east perimeter fence of the air force base, hearing the staccato sound of machine gun fire - what the hell were they shooting at with machine guns? I wondered...
More saving grace - Janene texted me...I called out to Cody to stop "what if it's Autumn?" I yelled. He nodded and pulled over, never realizing that Autumn did not have a phone to text us! Or maybe he did realize, but compassionately did not bring it up. After a couple 'rescue' texts, I was able to finish the course, removing my helmet as I slowly completed the last 50 yards or so...
As we loaded up, a family was getting ready to go out - I commented 'They should have an oxygen bar here at the end for us - my kid has one speed - fast!' The dad commiserated with me, sagely nodding his head. IRON LUNG PLEASE!!!!
Aut and I hit Civano for some plants...'hearts and flowers' for the front pots and some Mexican sunflowers for Kimmy's garden in the back - sure to attract some butterflies!
Then, it was time to make the Sunday gravy...fresh marinara! I made spaghetti, a salad, sliced up a huge loag of bread from Viro's and had everything ready to go. 'Say a prayer, Aut' I said. Everyone was just looking at me....as if I had gone insane...I quickly did a mental inventory...had I? I felt glued together...'Is there something on my face?' I asked. "No"..."Then what?" "Where's the grated parm?" Tonio asked. Dammit. Maybe I am slipping!
A movie to cap off the day..."Prince of Persia". There. I think I'm finally back on track, for now - an age appropriate movie! It was an action packed adventure tail...another film based on a video game...only I was awake for the finish - but, when I went to transfer the bambini to their beds, they woke up enough to want to go outside and say goodnight to Kimmy - the starts were impossibly 3-D tonight as we wished her a good night's sleep....