When the Fun Run–and life–aren’t so fun

Last year, Hadley dominated her school’s Fun Run by running 5 miles, the most of any girls in her grade.(Relive the glory along with Stanley the Pumpkin).

This year, several of the boys were conspiring to beat her, likely because she blew 99% of them away when she climbed the tallest sand dune in North America and rubbed it in their faces when she raced past them in last year’s Fun Run.

She was planning for a repeat performance but then she sprained her ankle in P.E. Just when she was starting to recover, she got sick the day before the Fun Run. Stalwart that she is, she insisted she needed to at least try but could barely run even one lap. I had a meeting but promised I’d jog beside her when I arrived late.

So I waited..and waited some more for her to loop around the track. When I finally saw her she looked sick and dejected.

“I just can’t do it, Mom.”

“That’s OK. At least you tried.”

“I want to walk six laps.” (About 1.5 miles.)

“Sounds good. I’ll walk with you.”

That’s exactly what she did. I was proud of my competitive girl. As her classmates lapped her, she held her head high, smiled when they blazed past and finished her personal goal.

“Sometimes life is just sad, Mom.”

Don’t I know it.

She spent most of the week in bed. When her symptoms only worsened last weekend, Jamie took her to urgent care. Pneumonia. Despite a cocktail of antibiotics, she wasn’t showing signs of improvement so the hospital recommended I take her to our pediatrician yesterday and they advised us to stay the course. She is currently passed out on the couch, coughing.

For the last few weeks, I been reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM to the kids. If you’re not familiar with the story, Mrs. Frisby (a widowed mouse) has an urgent matter: her son Timothy is very ill and they need to move their winter home in the garden before the farmer begins preparation for spring plow. The journey would likely kill him so she enlists the aid of former laboratory rats to rescue them.

And just what was Timothy’s illness? Pneumonia.

Jamie recognized the story’s synergies and wryly commented,

“Let’s just hope the plow doesn’t get you, Hadley.”

Obviously empathy runs deep in our family.


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