Sometimes the littlest family members help the most

When I wrote a post recently about how I’m going through a little rough patch in my personal life, I mentioned how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful, supportive family to help me through it. The comments I received on that post said much of the same (again, THANK YOU for all your kind words).

But the support extends to other aspects of my life, as well, and comes from the younger members of my family, too.

I’m training for a marathon on May 3, so Sunday was one of my long training runs – 16 miles, to be exact.

I will admit that I could have done a lot of things differently both pre- and post-run. First of all, I didn’t get to sleep until 3 a.m. Sunday morning, after a fun night out with some girlfriends. And I fell asleep on my parents’ family room love seat (remember, I’m living with them at the moment), which doesn’t make for the most comfortable sleep.

Then, I didn’t exactly fuel up for the run as best as I could. I definitely didn’t hydrate enough, and I kind of just ate a little bit here and there – and nothing all that nutritious.

The run itself actually felt pretty good. Around mile 13, though, I started to get really thirsty, so I texted my dad to meet me with some water at an intersection down the street from his house, which I knew I would be running by shortly. That kept me going for the rest of the run, and even though I felt a bit fatigued when it was over (hello, it was 16 miles), I also felt pretty strong and accomplished.

Then I went into my normal post-run routine, giving my legs an ice bath and stretching. But for some reason, I kept forgetting to put food into my body (though there was a lot of activity going on to distract me – my parents were cleaning up the kitchen from the dinner they had just cooked, and Audrey’s husband was here with their 4 boys, who were running, crawling, and playing around the house. Since Audrey is in Texas for SXSW until Tuesday, my parents have been helping out with the boys).

So right after I iced my legs, I decided to take a shower. I still hadn’t eaten a thing post-run. Stupid, I know. As soon as I got in the shower, my legs started to swell a bit from the contrast of the freezing ice bath to the hot water.

Audrey’s husband had gone home with their two younger boys, leaving their two older guys, William and Alexander, at my parents’ house to sleep over. Just as I was starting to rinse the conditioner out of my hair, William came into the bathroom and asked me when I was getting out of the shower. As I started to answer him, I began to feel incredibly lightheaded.

Getting weaker and weaker, I opened the shower door, left the shower on, and ran – naked, of course – towards the bedroom I’ve been staying in. And yes, I know I’ve probably scarred my poor 4-year-old nephew for life with that image. But it was better than passing out in the shower.

My mom was upstairs, too, so I just mumbled something about feeling like I was going to pass out as I ran by her. She followed me into the bedroom, carrying towels, and started covering me with them, as my body was shivering uncontrollably. It was very scary.

This was, of course, a very exciting event for my nephews. They wanted to know everything as they came and stared at me, covered in towels and shivering. William wanted to know, “Why are your lips purple?” Alex wondered, “Are you naken under there?” (That’s not a typo – he thinks “naked” ends with an “n”.)

But when it was time to help take care of me, I can’t say enough about my little nephews’ attentiveness.

As I started to feel a bit better, I asked my dad to bring me up a glass of chocolate milk (which I’ve heard it a great post-workout drink). I heard William asking to help stir it. Then when I felt like I needed some carbs, William insisted on being the one to bring a piece of bread up to me.

For his part, Alex was busy drawing pictures for me. He kept showing up beside my bed with a new drawing, telling me that they would make me feel better. How could they not?

Then William got in on the picture-drawing action, bringing a few up to me in which, he explained, we were holding hands in a meadow of sunflowers.

I just couldn’t get over how adorable it was that my little nephews were so concerned about me. For the rest of the night, they kept asking, “Do you feel better now, Janie?”

I finally told them, “Yes, I feel much better, and you know what helped me a lot? Your drawings.”

Without missing a beat, William gently-but-confidently informed me that, “You can hang them up in your room. This is your home now.”

It was like I was a stray animal being accepted into a new home. My heart just about melted.

Sometimes the littlest family members help the most was last modified: March 15th, 2010 by Jane Couto Govednik
SHOWHIDE Comments (11)
  1. what a sweet story. audrey’s boys sound amazing and honestly i just about cried reading how cute they were. i totally teared up. most be hormonal or something! anyhow so excited for your marathon…. which one are you doing? and i ran the new bedford half marathon in 1999! loved hanging with auds this weekend too. you guys are so lucky to have each other. i wish i had a sister!

  2. oh and if it makes you feel any better… when i did my 1st 16 mile run training for the marathon… i had to go to the bathroom. in the woods. not cool. and it happened 2x during the run too when i was as far as possible like 4 miles from any potential bathroom and that was probably TMI !

  3. Janie… I just remember kicking immediately into “Mom” gear to help… but then to have your 2 little helpers for both your physical and emotional well-being!? It was priceless. I am happy that your “faint-ish-ness” passed and that all distance runs will now include the right amounts of nourishment! I love you!

Sometimes the littlest family members help the most was last modified: March 15th, 2010 by Jane Couto Govednik