Saturday, February 7, 2015

Freezin' For A Reason 2015

Today, my family got up and got ready for the "Freezin' For A Reason" race here in our town. This race benefits Arkansas' Children's Hospital, which is a place near and dear to our family. We are so thankful to have this renown medical facility and it's wonderful and compassionate staff here in Little Rock...but we hope we never have to use it again.

So, Jim planned to run in this race...and he signed up Holly and Aaron-the-son-in-law...and Faith, Clark's girlfriend. Clark doesn't run any other races during track season, so he and Joshua and I all went to cheer on the others.

Athletic supporters, if you will!

My crazy husband. He and Faith and Morgan-the-daughter-in-law are all doing the Little Rock half-marathon in March, so they've been training together. Well, training separately...but with the one goal.

Jim was supposed to run 12 miles today, so he, in his great wisdom, decided to run the 3 miles from our home TO the race...then run the 10K...and then run the 3 miles home.

Faith was going to run the 10k, and Holly and Aaron-the-son-in-law were running the 5k. Morgan had to run 12 miles today as well, but she and Logan live 2 1/2 hours away from us so she does her running on her own.

Joshua, Clark and I waited in the car until we thought it was about time for Holly and Aaron to be close to finishing. As we were walking back into the stadium, we heard the guy on the loud-speaker say, "and here comes...HOLLY!"

And Clark took off in a sprint to try and see her cross the finish line.

Turns out, we had plenty of time. After the runners got to the stadium, they still had to run one lap around the track. Holly was unaware of that little fact, and so when she rolled up to the stadium gasping and wheezing and they yelled, "almost done! Only one lap around!" she said she was all, like, "awww HECK naw." But she did it! Aaron finished just ahead of her. Really proud of them both.

Then we started watching for Jim. There were tons of people on the field milling around. As a former football mom, it was freaking me out. All those people...all the FOOD...I even saw 3 dogs...ALL ON THE TURF. I know how expensive turf is and how hard it was to raise the money to get it.

At this point, Aaron announced he was STARVING and headed off to find any kind of food other than bananas. He came back CHOWING DOWN on a slice of pizza. I thought Holly was going to be sick. She had been about to barf when she finally finished her run...but when Aaron finished his run, he immediately started looking around for grub. He saw there was a grill, and he just KNEW there had to be hamburgers somewhere!

ANYWAY, Holly and Clark both look over at me grinning. They nod their head toward a young family on the field and say, "baby Fred." We call Joshua, "Fred." It's been his nickname for as long as I can remember. Whenever we see another person who has Down Syndrome, we will say, "there's a Fred." Or, "there's a girl Fred." And then we all just know.

So we are standing out on the track trying not to stare at this family and their precious baby. I wanted to go over to them so bad, but I just remember being so over the moon with Joshua in the beginning, and I thought no one could "tell" he had Down Syndrome...because he was just so stinkin' cute.

You can tell...and it's okay. He's still the cutest thing I've ever seen.

I have a "thing" with always wanting Joshua to look nice and presentable. I mean, we already get the stares and the looks...and sometimes little kids will point and I can see their moms trying to distract them from saying something OUT-LOUD that would be really embarrassing for them.

Joshua is normally pretty good at looking put-together, altho sometimes his color/pattern combinations about make our eyes pop out of our heads. When he was little, he would change his clothes 15 times a day, and there was a period of about 9 years that he wore a red shirt nearly every day of his life. Red is his favorite color. I remember going to Wal-Mart and buying him several pairs of jeans and several pairs of plaid shorts...and 5 red tennis-type shirts.

But, Joshua has a "thing" about Saturdays. He likes to "sleep in" (I use this term very lightly)...and generally make no plans until dinner.

Yeah. Sounds great to me, too.

Anyway, he didn't come downstairs this morning until after 8 a.m. The race started at 9. I thought, "I can either sit here and wait for him to hack down his blueberry muffins and his orange juice...and wait...or wonder...when his whole digestive track would kick in...OR, I can bribe him offer him some incentive.

Guess which one I chose?

I told him that if he would hurry up and get ready...brush his teeth and hair...and go to the race with a happy heart...I would take him by Chick-Fil-A on the way home and get him some chickin minis for breakfast. He was all over that idea.

So, he comes downstairs...and the boy who wearing jeans pretty much every day of his life but Sunday...was wearing gray sweatpants. He had on a gray and white striped t-shirt. I told him it was pretty cold outside, so he put on a blue-ish gray coat and gray gloves. He wrapped a blue and gray plaid scarf around his neck. Then, as an added bonus, he wore his RED plaid Elmer Fudd hat with the flaps on the side.

He said it...not me.

When we left the car, Joshua put on his hat and said, "this hat makes me look like Elmer Fudd...AND I DON'T EVEN CARE."

Also, since he hadn't shaved since Thursday morning, he looked like he'd been in the woods for 3 days.

The boy can grown a beard!

During all of this, we are watching for Jim and once we see him...we start cheering him in. Jim crossed the finish line and then went to get a banana and a bottle of water. As we were watching him walk over to us...waiting to congratulate him...we all notice that he is STARING at the Downsy boy and his family. He has never been the model of discretion. He looks at us and then uses his "thumbs up" sign to kind of point and nod over at this family.


Oh yes he did.

We all just cringed.

I just know that family saw us, too. I bet they took one look at Joshua and thought, "bless his heart...his poor family won't take care of him at ALL. He looks like a homeless person!"


Anyway, Jim left to RUN HOME, no literally...HE RAN HOME...and the rest of us stood around and waited on Faith. And this just shows the difference between people. Holly was FREEZING COLD. She said, "I'm so glad I didn't wear my capri leggings because I would've been so cold!" When Faith got done, she said, "oh my was SO HOT...I was about to DIE! I wish I had worn shorts!"

Then she told us that she'd seen the Downsy baby, too. She said, "I saw him and my Fred-DAR went off."

I had to inform Joshua that it was now 10:30, and that Chick was no longer serving breakfast. He said, "that's is more important."

And then he said, "I'll just take a #1, no pickles, with a Sprite."


We started walking out, Holly said to Aaron, "are you sure you don't want to go over there and get a burger before we go?" And Aaron said, "no...they don't have burgers...just dogs." Holly said, "oh, gotcha. Not exactly what you want after a race."

Aaron said, "yeah...not really...but I ate 1 1/2 hot dogs anyway."

"...let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

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