I realize it has been for a week, but how is it already April? Huh?

Photo unrelated to the rest of the post! I just hadn't looked at this one in a while, and remembered that I like it. Maybe someone else out there will like it, too. I miss the Milwaukee Art Museum, it's so photogenic.

I went running for the first time since October today. It didn't go well. In fact, it went so astoundingly not well that I may find excuses not to do it again for quite a while. I do this every year, and it's obviously the exact opposite reaction I should have to running but... it's going to be thirty degrees tomorrow! It's hard to breathe when you run in below-freezing temperatures. Perhaps next week?

I have to start sometime. There was talk of climbing a mountain this summer and since I have no small mountains (or mountains of any size, for that matter) on which to practice, running will have to do. And I will have to do it. But maybe not tomorrow.

Story! This is the story of my very first embarrassment.

When I was six, my parents informed me that my peaceful only-child existence of bliss would soon be forever disturbed by the presence of a sibling. I honestly don't remember being particularly happy or sad about this, just interested.

I must have done something to suggest that I was concerned about the attention It would be taking away from me when It arrived, because my parents enrolled me in something called Sibling Class. I used to believe this was something every child had to do when a baby was entering his or her life, but since talking to other people, I have learned that this is not the case and is, in fact, completely weird.

In Sibling Class, children are taught not to hate or be jealous of their new baby brother or sister. They are also taught about where babies come from, presumably to save parents from explaining it themselves. I was by far the oldest child in my sibling class and old enough by that time to be sort of self-conscious about it. I wasn't a big fan of Sibling Class.

At the end of our last Sibling Class, we were instructed to go give our mommies a hug. You may be aware that six year-olds are not very tall. Usually they are very short. I was the kind of six year-old who learned to distinguish people from one another by looking at them from their waist down.

I think you can see where this is going.

I was feeling particularly gung-ho that day (possibly because it was the last day of Sibling Class, or maybe I'd just had too much sugar) and I ran to my mother and gave her my best, biggest hug ever. I then looked up at my mother, only to find a large and very surprised African-American woman wearing the same shirt as my mother, trying not to laugh at the situation. I may have received a pat on the back.

"Oh!" Six-year-old me said. The last time I checked my mother was not a large African-American woman and I was probably as surprised as her to find that we were hugging.

I'm pretty sure my face turned purple. It is the first time I can ever remember being embarrassed. Mortified, even. Isn't becoming aware of how you are perceived by others awful? I suppose it's necessary and makes life easier for all of us in the end, but it might be interesting to meet someone who never realized or cared about what other people thought of what they did. I'd had the audacity to hug a stranger. Heavens. What cheek!

Luckily since then I have done far more cheeky, embarrassing things and this is but a fond memory of learning not to hate my unborn sister and getting a hug from a stranger in return. Which, really, was a pretty sweet deal. And I eventually got a really awesome sister, which I can't complain about.

Happy late birthday, Sister! (Her birthday was last week, but she's getting her present this weekend, see, since I didn't get to see her on her real birthday.) I hugged a stranger at Sibling Class and don't resent you for it - you're that awesome.


Alicia said...

haha, That was quite an interesting story. I do not remember that far back to be quite honest, but I'm pretty sure I'd remember something like that...if it ever happened to me that is lol. I am sort in the same situation as you, but instead of going hiking, I'm going to have to be hiking everyday at the camp I'm going to be working at. So I have to work-out like crazy. My best advice, if you can find an indoor track. They are awesome.

delightfully mediocre said...

Nice! I always wanted to work at a camp when I was still in school. The issue I have with indoor tracks (and treadmills) is that I get really, really bored. And as it turned out the forecast for today was wrong, and it's fifty degrees right now. Awesome!

I suppose one plus is that I live on a hill, so the end of every run is extra-difficult whether I want it to be or not. Sort of like a mountain. A really little, Wisconsin-sized mountain.