A Sleepover, A Marathon, and a Lost Tooth

This was another fun yet busy weekend for Team Calkins (last weekend we spent in Phoenix, which I will post about later). As much as I talk about needing to take a step back and relax, it is just not something that we do. To quote Russell from Up, “Adventure is out there!;” we are not going to find it sitting at home, especially in the time of COVID (who’s impact we continue to manage very well). So the girls had a sleepover at their friend’s house while I ran a marathon. Sounds like a pretty good time for them.

Having the girls waiting at the finish line was all the motivation I needed

So, let us briefly touch on the elephant in the room. Pretty sure that my last post was about doing things that continue to break my body and mind and that I was going to take it easy for a while. The next day though, my co-workers asked me if I was going to participate in the Bataan Memorial Death March, and of course I was not going to say no. One of my colleague’s wife offered to watch the girls during the event, so while the girls were initially excited about a playdate, they were ecstatic when she extended an invitation for them to sleep over for the night.

Picture taken less than five minutes after I told them about the sleepover

My colleague was participating in the event as well and this worked out pretty good for both of us, as I got a full night’s sleep before the event and now I owe him a favor. I am also certain the girls were happy that they did not have to wake up at 3am to go over to their house.

Do you think they were excited? This picture was taken an hour before we were supposed to leave.

To say that the girls were excited would be a drastic understatement. Not only did they pester me for days about when the sleepover was (“How many days to the sleepover? Are we still having the sleepover? Why isn’t it sleepover day yet?!?”), but as soon as we got back from the After-School Center on Friday, they packed their suitcases and hopped right into their pajamas. Of course they needed suitcases for an overnight on the same block.

I should not have made this into a gif, as it is starting to make me a little queasy.

There was another variable at play during all of this; Elaina had a loose tooth that was being difficult and did not want to come out. Right before we were about to walk out the door, she wiggled it enough so that it was literally hanging by a thread. Although we tried to get it out before we walked over, Elaina did not want me to pull it, so we left knowing that it was probably coming out later that night.

And of course they each wanted to bring their own suitcases, because God forbid their clothes and blankets touch one another

A minute later, walking to their house and about 200 feet from ours, Elaina turns to me and shouts “Dad, my tooth popped out!” Sure enough, it was gone and she grinned at me with a gapped smile.

“You should see the other guy!”

We searched for the tooth, but to no avail, so now we are three of four on writing notes to the Tooth Fairy in lieu of presenting her with one. With that taken care of, we travelled to their house to get the sleepover underway. And from the After-Action Review, they watched Matilda, ate all their breakfast, and behaved like the angels they are around other people. This allowed me to hydrate and get a full night’s sleep before tomorrow’s marathon.

This… for 26.2 miles.

The marathon went as expected; it was long, difficult, and more or less just five hours of getting mentally and physically beat down. But it was supporting a great event and taking something off my bucket list, so I trekked on.

This made my entire day

My colleague’s wife met us at the home stretch and Gabriella ran in with me. If that was not motivating me to finish the race, I do not know what would.

Dancing makes the time go by faster

After hobbling back to the house and taking a brief nap, the girls and I headed back to the finish line to cheer on my colleagues when they came in (we all participated in different divisions and were projected to finish at different times). The girls and I relaxed in the shade while we congratulated everyone that completed the race.

Team Sentinel after conquering the Bataan Memorial Death March

After it was all over, a brief reflection of the day’s events let us know that this was a pretty good one. It reinforced that a good support group is absolutely necessary to be a successful (and sane) single parent, while reconfirming that everything does not have to be a choice between you or your children. In this case, the girls were able to have an enjoyable day with their friends while I achieved a personal goal. With everyone coming out happy, that is really all I could ask for.

And in the end, the Tooth Fairy got her letter

Thanks for checking in on us.


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