I have not written much in the last weeks.
Life is good. This break-from-real-life period in La Crosse is coming to an end. It has been a wonderful time that I will always remember, but we are starting to look forward to going back to Denmark.
Perhaps the best thing has been seeing my two oldest sons, Christians and Andreas, bond. 4-year old Christian worships 8-year old Andreas, or "Big Buy" as he calls him. From the moment Andreas enters the house, Christian is never more than a foot away from him. Except when Andreas hides, in which case Christian looks like he is about to have a stroke and desperately pleads for help in finding his brother. Andreas is a gentle boy and is quite patient. He makes up complicated games and will play Legos, build forts etc. for hours. Watching thoese two develop a healthy relationship has been the highlight of these last 6 months.
Andreas used to be really ill-behaved and spiteful. I used to dread spending time with him. I would ask him to do something and he would blatantly ignore me. He hated coming over and often made a point of asking what time it was, so he knew exactly how many more minutes he had to spend with us. But all that has melted away. I realized last month that I really enjoyed having him over. It just sort of snuck up on me.
In a month or so, his dad will disappear once again. I hope the good vibes continue and can tide us over until we are back (for good) in a year.
Christian is my favorite child right now. He is 4, but still, miraculously, has not developed any privacy filter. He is so easily excited, and he tells me everything. This weekend, I ran along Lake Superior in Duluth, the night before Grandma's, with Christian in the babyjogger. We talked about every little detail we saw. He is such a happy boy; a boy who has never seen any kind of misfortune.
We are so close. I put him to sleep every night singing the "Superman Song" by Crash Test Dummies. He is so tired from being outside all day at the Waldorf school that he starts to snore long before the bridge. The other night, we were talking about who he liked best, mommy or daddy. He said daddy. How many 4-year old boys do that? He said mommy the next day (looking at me with a mischievous smile) but I'll take my one victory.
I frustrate the Girl by going to Walmart. And I shouldn't go; but that's another topic for another day. There is a shopping cart, which has two plastic seats made for kids. He loves that cart, and finding it (there are 3 total, but he thinks there is only one) is a major objective to him every time we go. He sees the bright lights of Walmart (which he calls "biblotikken", a baby Danish word that is a mix of store and library). He starts to moan and gyrate, thinking about the shopping cart that he will locate and board. He looks and cranes. He speaks only English now, but I speak Danish to him, so certain concepts have no English translation. The "special cart", which he pronounces "becialler vogn", is one of them.
We enter Walmart and his little green eyes scan the cart area. When he sees the cart, he yelps, jumps a foot into the air and scream "daddy, I found the becialler vogn!" He has no sense of all the people smiling at him. He is a little happy blond boy, and he makes people smile wherever he goes. It's amazing.
Natali and I have grown apart a little. She spends a lot of time with her older step-sisters and her friends, That's OK; I will get her back in a month or so, when we go back to Denmark. We are still best buds, even if we don't spend every night together like last year. I was eating lunch the other day (after a long run in the hills, of course). Suddenly Natali biked into the back yard with her step-sister. They stopped by to visit, just because they were in the neighbourhood. We talked for a while and they left on their bikes. She is only 11 but acts like a teenager already.
My running is strange. I have been putting in almost nothing but long runs, and it seems like I am in OK shape. We were talking about doing a 10K this weekend, and I was thinking of PR'ing. That's a 33:20, so I wanted to see where my speed was at. I went to the YMCA and did one of the speed workout that I did this winter. Turns out I am much slower now! Like almost a minute over a 15 minute session. I repeated the same thing yesterday and it got a little better, but I am still very far from this winter.
Maybe I am naive, but I didn't think I would be this slow. I run fast on the trails, sometimes "bombing" the long downhills. So I didn't think I would lose that much sharpness. Of course, the next two races are Afton 50K and the Half Voyageur, so speed is not all that important. Nevertheless, I think I will do one speed session on the track or treadmill (if it's really hot) every week from now on.