October 1, 2010

She's a Member of the Zipper Club

Today is my baby’s 28th birthday – hard to believe that 28 years ago today, I was in immense labor pain and lamenting the fact that I ever wanted children awaiting the birth of my bouncing baby girl.  Happy Birthday, Amber!

But her early life wasn’t so easy.  She was born with two holes in her heart (ventricular septal defect), which grew larger as she did, and required surgery when she was a year old.  Even though she was a cardiac kid, she wanted to run from the beginning.  In her hospital crib, still hooked up to tubes and wires, she ran and fell, ran and fell, from one side of the crib to the other, laughing her head off because she was wobbly and kept falling down.  She learned how to run, before she learned how to walk again, and she did it with such joyous abandon.  She never looked back.  T-ball, little league, gymnastics, soccer, 5K’s, 10K’s, mud runs, marathons and bull riding (the mechanical kind), she’s up for it all!  As you can tell, I love and admire her a lot!  She doesn’t give up.      

Cooling Off at the Mud Run
She joined the Zipper Club, a non-profit, support network for heart patients and their families.  Her only lamentation is that she doesn’t have a vertical zipper scar, but a horizontal zipper scar.  I told her that whichever way she looks at it, she has a zipper.  Hers is sideways, so what!  At the time, it was a new procedure that the cardiac surgeon (Dr. Lamberti) called the Bikini Cut, designed so that she could wear a bikini and most of the scar doesn’t show.  So the first thing she shared at Show-and-Tell in Kindergarten was her scar.  Yep, she lifted her dress right up in front of the class and shared!  She wants her battle wounds to show, LOL. 

The Mud Monster

Un-duct-taping the shoes after the Mud Run

Amber recently finished her first marathon – the Rock n Roll Marathon in San Diego, and did pretty well considering she made some first-timer mistakes; doughnuts for breakfast, no extra socks, no emergency tissues, and her biggest mistake, pouring water into her shoes because of the heat, and causing massive blisters. She still has scarring four months later. 

So next year, she wants me to run the half-marathon while she runs the full marathon.  She figures we’ll finish about the same time.  Plus, I train at 9200 ft. elevation (so very little oxygen up here!), so running at sea level in San Diego should be an advantage for me.  I envision us running, about to set a record for the Guiness Book of World Records for the fastest half marathon / marathon for a mother and daughter team.  A man runs up to me and tells me that we’re really close to setting a record, and says, “Maam, I’ve been sent here to pace you so you can beat the current world record.  Just follow me and keep up.”  And I sprint off behind him (not the real me, the skinny, healthy, fast me), more than up for the challenge.  You know, sort of like in the movies, when someone’s needed to save the world, and you’re the only one who can do it.  Of course Amber is right on track and doesn’t need a pacer, and we meet near the finish line and cross together, arms linked, with the crowd cheering us on.  Hey!  No laughing!  I can fantasize whatever I want.  This is my blog!!!  Have you never read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll?!!!  The White Queen says to Alice, “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”  Well, me too!!! (Thanks for the quote, KelliJ.)

Now back to reality.  If I can ever get past my two-mile hump, I might just do that half marathon next year. 

Happy Birthday, Amber!

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