Summer Days at the Track

Maria got to head up north to Mama Ionno’s house today with her cousin Alana.  I packed up her Barbie dolls and a pile of clothes and shipped her off with Jon this morning.  Patty once laughed about my packing style versus my sister-in-law’s style.  I just throw in a pile of shirts and shorts and undies and socks and nightie tops and bottoms into a big bulky duffel bag.  My sister-in-law packs a set of clothes for each day, nicely folded and set gently into a nice-sized canvas bag.  Oh, the world takes all types…, heh?!

Mario got to stay back with me and Jon and go to school today.  I dropped him off at daycare after taking him to get a donut at the new donut store, letting him watch a tv show, and driving him in the car to school (he begs me not to bike him – don’t know why – he won’t explain (heat?)).  I was hoping that all of those treats combined would make for a smooth transition to school.  I was wrong.  Mario cried and wailed and begged me to stay.  He promised he would be good and listen to me if I would just take him home.  Awful, horrible, devastating.  As much as I understand that he will be ok when I leave, it still kills me to hear him and see him acting so sad. 

When I picked him up at 5 pm, he was in the Muscle Room balancing on plastic rods.  He begged to stay in the Muscle Room for a while.  Of course – cries his heart out when I drop off and begs to stay when I pick up.  Nevertheless, I would much rather see that then see him miserable when I pick up.  When we got home, we played with his plastic fighter men, which consists of me holding one and letting Mario bang it with his plastic man.  I finally got Mario to agree to head to the football field with me to toss the ball.  As soon as we strolled up to the field, Mario’s mouth dropped.  He was in heaven watching two guys play soccer, a few guys and girls running on the track, a family playing frisbee. 

We tossed the football for a while but then Mario wanted to run the steps like the guys he saw doing it earlier.  We climbed the steps and watched the track runners.  Mario asked me to run so I took a run around the track, which felt really good since I had eaten a loaf of garlic bread for dinner (that time of month).  When I got back, Mario asked if he could run around all by himself.  It is one-fourth of a mile around the track.  I said “sure” knowing that he would make it around with out a problem.  Sure enough, he took off his shirt and bolted around the first half.  He slowed down a bit to a light jog and then revved it back up for the last half.  As he sprinted around to the end, I rooted him on yelling his name.  He had a huge smile on his face and i could see how proud he was of himself.  He drank some water and asked to run the stairs again.  We did, and we played Spiderman and Sandman.  We had a really good time. 

He amazes me with his athletic ability at age 3.  The boy is so fast and wiry and strong.  When he ran the last leg of the track, all I could do was picture him as a teenager running at a meet with me and Jon in the stands rooting him on like mad crazed parents.  I will be the mom with the ten buttons of him all over my shirt (and of Maria, too, who will be our world-class swimmer) bragging about how cool my kids are with other parents (who will be talking over me about how cool their kids are  so that neither of us hear each other in the end).

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