Sunday, August 12, 2007

Meelyn at the wheel

We went to the 10:30 a.m. Mass today since we couldn't go to yesterday's Vigil, what with my brother's birthday party and all. Afterwards, we went to a store my husband's boss found - a runners' store. My husband, the half-marathon enthusiast, has been needing a new pair of running shoes for about a month. All the support is gone from the old ones and he says his legs feel like bricks and his knees hurt. Being an old geezer of forty, he needs to protect his knees, so off to the running store we went.

The rule, we were told, is six months or five hundred miles, whichever comes first.

Five hundred miles? Running?

Just thinking about that makes me want to go lie down.

Meelyn has decided that she definitely wants to run the Indy Mini-Marathon again next May, but while we were in the store, she picked up brochures for two other runs; one in Indianapolis to benefit lung cancer research (my grandma died from the ravages of lung cancer in 1981, God rest her sweet soul) and another in Oxford, Ohio to benefit Oxford, Ohio. Both of those are 5K runs, which are a nice little bit of gentle practice for the Mini.

Kieren, my older nephew, is thinking about running the Mini next May with Meelyn and his uncle. We're also trying to get Aisling to do the 1K Kids' Run in Oxford, but are meeting with limited enthusiasm on her part. Extremely limited.

Saucony - the shoes of choice for the runners and volleyball players
in our family.

Anyway, we had a nice lunch, which was a special treat. We went to O'Charley's, where we had a waitress who didn't seem to love us, even though we were prompt and precise with our orders and didn't ask for anything annoying, like "Oh, and on my club sandwich? Could you please put the bacon on the side and the tomato on the side and the turkey on the side and the bread on the side and could I substitute the sliced ham for prosciutto and a mango for the tomato and you know what? I'm going to need fat-free mayo instead of regular mayo and is this salt in the shaker sea salt? Because that's the only kind I can eat. And oh...I'd also like an iced tea with the ice on the side and a slice of lemon on a plate. But not a small side plate because I need to have somewhere to put my torn Splenda packets. Something more like a salad plate will do."

My mother has a friend who orders like this and I've never been to a restaurant with her yet that I haven't wanted to throw a basket of dinner rolls at her head. And you think I'm exaggerating right?


After we ate, we went back to the church parking lot so that Meelyn could have some driving practice with Dad in the car with her. She was very cute there behind the steering wheel, listening soberly and attentively as her father instructed her to step on the brake before shifting into drive, only checking out her hair once as she adjusted the mirrors. Her dad wanted her to pretend that the parking lot was full of cars, so he was instructing her to drive down the middle of the lots, making wide turns to avoid taking the bumpers off imaginary cars.

Aisling and I teased her while she was going through the two lots, saying, "Oh, no! Watch out Cadillac Escalade on the right! Ouch! Just dinged a Lexus! Parishioners are fleeing for the fields! Father has come running with the censer and some holy water! People are falling to their knees and praying for heaven's mercy! Aaaaahhhh!"

"You guys," giggled Meelyn, executing a perfect left hand turn with just the right amount of pressure applied to the gas pedal. "I swear."

"Yes," I said, pointing to an imaginary figure up in a tree. "That elderly lady who sought refuge in the foliage is swearing too."

Meelyn gets her learner's permit in seven and a half months. How could that be possible? I mean, isn't this the same person who was bringing me a clean diaper and a box of wipes only a few years back and offhandedly remarking to me, "Here. You may need this"? She'd then arrange the waterproof mat from the changing table on the floor where I was sitting and playing with the infant Aisling and then lie down and look up at me expectantly.

"Pee yew," she'd say conversationally, pinching her tiny nose with her tiny fingers. "Stinky!"

And now here she is, driving.

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