Friday, May 9, 2014

Little Motorcycle Racer

It all started when my husband got a "screaming deal" on three used dirtbikes. They were clearly too big for our kids, but the thought was that they would eventually grow into them...and we could ride them in the meantime. Barrett, my six year old, would not settle for this. He begged to ride the smallest of the three, the Honda 100. He couldn't even touch the ground when he sat on it. My husband gave in, strapped on all of Barrett's safety gear, kickstarted the bike for him, and let him ride. The thought was that he would have a hard time with it, and wouldn't ask to ride again. Instead, something else happened. My skinny six year old controlled the bike like a skilled adult. He leaned into turns, picked up speed on straight aways, and maneuvered around our cluttered property like he had been doing it since birth. It was the first time that he had ever rode something with a clutch, and a twist throttle. I knew my boy was athletic, and an above average driver of anything he had ever been given: bikes, power wheels, four-wheelers, and a little two-seater ORV called a RZR. However, I had no idea that he had gifts of this magnitude.

Five minutes after he jumped off the dirtbike we were at the KTM dealership buying him a new racing bike (okay,it was probably more like a week later). Then Gunther, my five year old, got a four-wheeler to ride (he couldn't cut it on a dirtbike). Then my husband bought a racing dirtbike for himself, so that he could keep up with our children. Somewhere in that time span my two year old ended up with a little Honda dirtbike with training wheels (Ridiculous. I know).  A camping trailer/toy hauler (used) was our next expense, because we had to be able to haul all of our motorized stuff. We joined a cross country racing association. My husband decided to race so that he could be a "better coach", but I suspect he also enjoys riding. Within our family we have three different racing classes, and once Axel is big enough, I'm sure we will have four. Now every other weekend we are camping at some different track, often in some remote part of Oklahoma. I should remind you that we are not rich. Once you throw in the riding clothes, the safety gear, the upkeep of the bikes, and the quad, the gas to get to's enough for mama to have a tummy tuck, a designer wardrobe, and a Vespa scooter. I don't have any of that shit. The cost somehow doesn't seem important when my whole family is having a blast on a regular basis, though.

So far, Barrett has medaled in every race he has entered. No surprise. I've seen him give up first place to another rider, though. He has the skill, but he lacks aggression. I consider his politeness, and sweetness a positive attribute of his personality. I wouldn't trade his sweet demeanor for a stack of first place medals.  We are working on teaching him that it's okay to pass somebody. At the motorcross track by our house, there are several adult riders, some who are pro, or semi-pro, who have taken an interest in him. "This is his first year riding? He's only six? Wow." It is his sweetness, and humility that endears people to him. He doesn't even take credit for his talent. Barrett says: "God gave me a happy gift" when somebody refers to his riding skill. He's the type that everyone wants to cheer on.

My five year old, and my husband have also done fairly well in their own racing classes. Gunther even got first place once. We were surprised at his victory, as he never seems to be in that much of a hurry when he's racing...or doing anything. You know what they say about slow and steady, though. It turns out that they do, sometimes, win the race.  My husband has actually done really great for a guy that randomly started racing dirtbikes at age thirty four. He races against a lot of ex-motorcross racers, and people with MUCH more experience. Jason usually beats at least half of his competitors. Darn good for an aging Daddy.

I'm most proud of the reputation my boys have earned within our racing association.They are known for having heart. Both Barrett, and Gunther have had an incident or two during a race, or practice. Once Gunther ran into a tree. Barrett's bike overheated, and he crashed onto a creek bank during the same race. They have never had any serious injuries. The safety gear has done its job thus far. Anytime something  has happened, they have both just gotten back on their ride, and trucked on. Other parents, who have witnessed this say that their kid would have declared themselves done in the same situation. I'm astounded that my boys, who have been known to dramatize an injury from time to time, are capable of sucking it up and moving on. I nevet hear complaints about this or that hurting until we are home.

Monday, May 5, 2014

I Have A Secret

I'm still nursing my two year old. Not often. Usually just at bed, or nap time. I have felt ashamed of "extended" nursing in the past. I'm tired of feeling that way. In a world that is filled with violence, and injustice...I don't know why it is even a source of ridicule. I extended nursed my older two boys, and they are well adjusted, bright, and healthy. Just because one nurses a baby beyond twelve months does not mean that the kid will be stuck to a boob until he's nine. That seems to be a popular opinion. I hope to wean him soon, but at our own pace. For now I am trying to enjoy every sweet, snuggly moment of "ninny time", as he calls it. I know that, in the big scheme of things, this time that my child and I are so physically connected is short. So, for the remainder of that time, I am not going
to skirt the truth, or feel bad about how I am parenting. I'm going to continue on, and be content. I will no longer feel uncomfortable because I KNOW that many people think what I do is gross. It's not, and I feel bad for those people. They must really be bored to be bothered by toddlers, and boobs.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

My Thoughts on Being an Herbivore

This will be the first, and last time that I will discuss this. I decided to go "vegan" about a year and a half ago. My reasons were many: I needed to lose weight after my last pregnancy, I had joint pain and didn't want to go on meds (toxins from dairy can accumulate in joints), and I had always wanted to sever myself from any possible animal cruelty. It seemed a logical solution to my problems. After about two weeks of sticking to my "vegan" diet, I had lost six pounds, my mood was more even, and I felt better overall. So, I have stuck with it.

At first I didn't tell anyone unless I had to. If I went to a baby shower, or a birthday party, I would nibble off the veggie platter, and pass on the cake. I'm sure everyone just thought I was on a post-baby diet. My reasons for hiding it stem from being a vegetarian for many years, and having people be mean to me about it. I have never understood it. I am not preachy about it...I see it as a simple personal preference. My kids, and my husband eat meat, dairy, whatever. I frequently prepare food that I don't eat. I certainly don't label anyone as "cruel", or "stupid" because of their food preferences. So, I really don't know why saying "I'm vegetarian", or "I'm vegan" opens me up to having people say things like: "We're meant to eat meat. That's stupid.", or "Well, it says in the bible that we are supposed to have domain over animals." I don't understand how domain equals exploiting, and abusing. Anyway, I just avoid talking about it...except now.

Over the past year, or so, I have lost a considerable amount of weight. I never step on a scale, because IF I DO I either think "shit. This is pointless", or "yay. I can eat". Either way, it is self sabotage. I don't know the numbers. I was in size sixteen jeans when I started, and am now wearing a size nine...and still losing! I also don't generally enjoy talking about my weight loss. I'm always appreciative when someone notices that I've lost weight. However, it is not something that I like to dwell on. I just think that there are a lot of more important things to focus on. Losing weight has not made me smarter, or prettier, or kinder. Also, I don't want to make anyone who is struggling with weight to feel bad. Oh! And, it's also a boring topic. I'd rather discuss how igneous rocks are formed than how I made my fat-ass slightly less fat.

Since my weight loss is now very noticeable: I am often forced to talk about my diet. Everyone wants to know "what are you doing?". I want to say: "Meth. It's the best.", but I don't want anyone calling CPS on me. So, I tell that I'm working out, and.....I went vegan.Part of me would love to have one person look at me, and think "wow. She looks great, and she seems happy. Maybe I should go vegan." Then maybe I would be responsible for ONE LESS consumer of cruelty. However, usually the response I get is "whoa! I could never do that." I'll keep trying, though. I don't know why it seems so impossible to everyone. I think the perception is that vegans eat nothing but tofu every darn day. Not true. I manage to find vegan junk food on the regular...but, one doesn't lose weight by living on potato chips. So, I try to mix some veggies, and beans, and stuff into my potato chip/oreo diet. Yes! Oreos are vegan. Anyway, my eating habits aren't nearly as exotic, or interesting as people suspect.

I wouldn't be such a rarity if I lived in San Diego, or Portland, but I live in rural Oklahoma. Every other Ford truck here has a front plate that reads "BEEF". And everyone drives a Ford truck...unless you are complete white trash...then you drive a Dodge truck with an OU front plate. (I feel bad for people who actually have degrees from the University of Oklahoma because most of the people who sport their burgundy gear consider "Choose Your Own Adventure" books to be fine literature.) So, I am some ungodly hippie-freak. You know, the kind Merle Haggard hates. Mehhh. It's fine, though. I'll continue to be the lone freak out here, hoping to make it look cool, and appealing enough for someone else to try it.