Letters to my kids

This morning while riding my bike I was thinking about my kids, as usual. I often wonder what they’ll think of me one day when I’m gone. I’ve blogged on the subject before, but not here. Today I decided to change the format of this blog a little. Rather than writing to you, the reader, I’ll try to write on the same subject matter each day, balancing family and triathlon, but written to my kids in letter format. I hope you enjoy, but more importantly, I hope they enjoy these letters one day when they’re grown. So here’s how life was for you kids, the good, the bad, and the ugly:

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

It’s Sunday morning and we’re all home sick this morning. Izzy left early with the Eicher’s for church, but the rest of us are staying home today. We’ve had this cold bug for 3 weeks now.

We’ve had a pretty low key weekend so far. Yesterday was one of those days though when it was hard for me to balance being a dad and an athlete. I got up at 5:15am to go for a 25 mile ride. I put my normal winter layers on: wool socks, bib shorts, thermal tights, base layer top, wool jersey, neon yellow windbreaker/jacket, and a skull cap. Kate, you started crying faintly just as I tiptoed down the steps, so I turned around and got you from your bed and put you in bed with Mommy. I laid down with you for a few minutes just to make sure you’d go back to sleep. Once you were asleep I headed down stairs.

I made my coffee and started making a bowl of oatmeal. I heard someone shuffling around behind me and without having to turn around I knew it was you, Max. You were standing in the predawn kitchen watching me make my breakfast with your blue blankie in tow. I carried you up to the bed with Mommy and Kate, hoping you’d go back to sleep. Mommy was awake though and told me she’d been up all night with a fever of 101 and felt really bad. I decided to stay home and let Mommy sleep, so I changed from my cycling gear back into my sweats and carried you and Kate down stairs to watch cartoons. We had lots of fun. You watched 2 episodes of Team Umizoomi, 2 episodes of Dora, and an episode of Diego, while I thumbed through Mommy’s new issue of Southern Living. There was a great article about the FL Keys in it. Ask me about mine and Mommy’s trips to the Keys when you’re older. Your mommy and I had lots of good times together when we were young.

Izzy, you slept in, as usual, but we woke you up eventually to get ready for a cheerleading clinic at the high school here in Spring Hill. Rebecca’s mom was supposed to come and get you at 8:30, but by 8:50 she still wasn’t here. Mommy called and found out she was having car trouble, so I drove you over to their house and got her car to start so she could take you to the clinic. You girls were so excited!

I did a few errands for Mommy, including putting a new shutter on the house. It had blown off last week during a strong storm. Max, you stuck your head out the window and talked to me while I worked on the roof. You played with my “big heavy drill” the rest of the day (I took the drill bit out, of course).

By 2:00 things had settled down enough for me to think about getting that ride out of the way. I put all my layers back on and put my bike on the back of my car. I wanted to start my ride from out in the country, because traffic was too heavy through town at that hour. Once I was ready to go I realized I couldn’t find my keys. We tore the house upside down and interigated you kids on where they were. Kate, you have a habit of hiding car keys. You once hid mommies in the silverware case and we didn’t find them for a whole year. Having no luck finding the keys I gave up on the ride for a second time by 3:00pm and changed into my running gear instead while you kids laid down for a nap.

I ran a pretty uneventful 7 miles at an easy 9:15 pace. Lost keys and being dad changed the day dramatically from what I’d planned. Plans are meant to flex with your life though.

Izzy, you left your new LL Bean coat at the high school, so drove over there late in the afternoon to look around. I found an open door and walked through the gyms checking the bleachers. No luck. I took a few minutes to think while in the school though. The sound and the smell of the gym and the sight of the wrestling mats rolled up at one end made me feel melancholy. One day I think I’ll coach wrestling again. I miss making a difference in kids lives.

Izzy, you and I were supposed to have a Daddy-daughter date night, but we didn’t get to go because everyone was sick. I’m sorry, baby. We’ll make it up. You suggested dinner tonight and a movie on Wednesday night. Not a bad plan. You rode with me pick up dinner and we talked about what it would be like to move to France. I’ve been studying French and you think it’s funny to hear my French words. I think we’re only half-dreaming when we talk about things like moving to France. It scares us a little that we really want to do it.

At bed time I pushed the beds together so all three of you could sleep in one room just for fun. It wasn’t a great idea. All 3 of you got so wild jumping on the beds that by 9:30 Mommy and I were shot. I lost my temper and yelled at you kids and forced everyone to bed. I’m sorry. It was a long day. Sometimes being a dad isn’t easy.

I’ll tell you about today tomorrow. I love you all 3 of you more than you’ll ever know.

– Daddy

Sat training: 7 mile run in 1:03