KingMidget's Ramblings

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My Mom Is A Beast

I’m the youngest of four.  The oldest, my brother, recently hit the magic age of 55.  More on that later.  Between us are the two sisters.  Yes, my parents had four kids in five years and just short of three months.  And there was a miscarriage in the middle of that somewhere too.  The family story is that my mom only wanted three kids.  It was my father’s desire for four that resulted in … me!  So, think about that.  If my mom had her way, I wouldn’t exist in this world.  Do you understand then the struggles I’ve had to live with my whole life?  (I hope you read that with the sarcasm I wrote it with.  I have never ever questioned that my mother loved me and wanted me.)

So, we grew up.  I remember there being a time when I was a teenager and I thought there was no way my siblings and I would have much to do with each other when we grew up.  I don’t remember why I thought that, but I just saw us growing up and just not really needing each other or wanting to have much to do with each other.  We weren’t the best of friends growing up.  Why would that change when we grew up?

Thing is, I was kind of right.  In a way.  There are people I know who grow up and their lives still revolve around their parents and their siblings.  They call each other daily or almost daily.  They share in the trials and tribulations of each other’s lives.  They just don’t seem to let go of the family unit.  My family is different.  We call each other when we need to.  I almost never call any other family member just to talk.  Except for my mom because I know she wants to hear from me.  But my siblings?  Nah.  I call them when I have a reason to.  They call me when they have a reason to.  We rarely talk on the phone just for the sake of talking.  Which means I may go months without talking to my brother or my sister.  (Yes, that’s singular.  There’s a bit of a family rift, but this isn’t about that.)

So, we’ve all grown up and gone our separate ways.  But every once in awhile …. oh wait, I have a story to tell.

My brother turned 55 in August.  He’s a state employee.  Wait.  Back up.  Erase that.  He was a state employee.  In California, to be a state employee at the age of 55 means you’ve reached the magical 2% point.  You can retire and receive a defined retirement benefit equal to 2% times the number of years you have worked for the state.  That’s the easy, basic way to describe it.  About a year ago, I asked him whether he was planning on retiring at 55.  A legitimate question because if you wait until you’re 60, you can get 2.5% times the number of years as a state employee.  There’s a calculation every one of us state employees have to make.

Anyway, he said he was planning on retiring.  He didn’t know exactly when, but it was going to be as soon as he could.  There would be no waiting until 60 for him.  Fast forward to his birthday.  I call him.  It’s a little after 2:00.  Me:  “Happy Birthday.  When’s your last day at work.”  Him:  “In about ten minutes.”  Me:  “You asshole.  I’m never talking to you again.  Or at least for the next five years until I get to 55.”

Congrats to my brother.  He’s earned it.  He deserves it.  He has a plan in place that will see him through the rest of his life.  Doing what he wants to.  Which includes a part-time job to supplement his retirement benefit.  He got that job a few weeks ago.  Working three days a week at a doggie day care center.  It’s a beautiful thing.  He loves dogs and animals and now he gets to do what he wants — which means throwing balls for dogs, rubbing their tummies, and taking care of them.

So, back to the post.  … every once in awhile we spend time together.  Today was one of those times.  My mother’s birthday was today.  Last year, my brother took her up to Silver Lake for the day.  I wanted to go, but couldn’t for some forgotten reason.  This year, I made sure I could go.  Today, we went to the Point Reyes National Seashore.  She wanted to do the Arch Rock hike, a hike she had probably not done in 15 or 20 years.  When she told me about it, she thought the hike was 3 miles one way.  I asked her whether she was sure she could make such a trek.  She responded that she regularly went for three mile walks in her neighborhood and she would be fine.

Funny thing is that she told my brother she was concerned about whether I could make it because of my groin issues and all my other aches and pains.  He told me that the day I ran 7.5 miles.  I assured him I would be fine.

So, today, we went for a walk.


There they are.  My brother at the tender age of 55.  And my mom who has lived long enough to see her grand children grow up and now has a great granddaughter.  The one way distance wasn’t three miles.  It was 4.2.  So, basically, we went for an 8.5 mile walk today.  This is the view from the end point of the hike, a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.


What’s the point of this?  I don’t know.  All I know is that for 8.5 miles my mom kept up with her boys.  My brother told her she was a beast.  She was.  I can only hope to be able to walk 8.5 miles when I’m her age.  And she ended it with a whole lot fewer aches and pains than me.  My lower back was tired.  My groin was tight.  (No jokes necessary.)  My hips were sore.  My feet hurt and both of my big toes are stiff.  My mom?  Doing great.  Like I said.  I hope I can say the same when I’m her age.





19 responses to “My Mom Is A Beast

  1. Carrie Rubin October 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    That’s great she made it without problem. A good lesson for all of us to be active every day. Most centenarians report walking daily. (Though I suspect your mom has two or three decades before she reaches that mark!)

    I’m envious of your scenic route!

    • kingmidget October 5, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Plenty of other pictures prove the scenic nature of the route. 🙂

      And, yes, that is the thing. She has been going for her walks for years. I sometimes wonder if running instead of walking is something I’ll regret later on. I’m committed to not revealing her age, so I can neither confirm nor deny how many more years she has to the century mark.

  2. Gibber October 5, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Okay first it sounds really nice!
    Second: You grew up?! I got stuck on that.
    Third, I know about groin injuries and they are not fun and never seem to fully go away.

    • kingmidget October 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      No, no, no. Did I say I grew up? That was a typo. And, yes, the groin injury seems to be something that will stay with me forever. Just need to work around it and not overdo things. I’m in the process of figuring out just what that means. What are the boundaries that define acceptable levels of physical activity and what is overdoing it. I know this … my days of playing sports where there are quick movements and lateral movements are over. No more soccer. No more tennis.

      • Gibber October 5, 2014 at 5:12 pm

        You did say you grew up and more than once but maybe that’s because you were trying to convince yourself?

        I hear you about the limits. I’ve had three bad injuries there and I was on crutches for months and in physio. I hated being asked why I was on

        Walking can even re injure. I’m glad you got to go for the hike with your mother and brother though.

      • kingmidget October 5, 2014 at 5:15 pm

        I tore mine three times playing soccer before finally saw a doctor. I’ve never had to resort to crutches but there were definitely days when things down there were extremely tight. There is little I can do now that doesn’t bring back some tightness. Just a question of how much. So far my approach of running and doing PT exercises on days when I don’t run seems to be keeping the worst days away.

      • Gibber October 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm

        Yikes. What did your doc say? My first injury came from hiking. It came out of nowhere. One min. I could walk and the next I couldn’t put one leg in front of the other for the pain but I had no choice to finish the hike.
        That one I didn’t get care for but my second injury on the other side was from kick boxing. That I saw the physiotherapist for. I was instructed immediately to get on crutches and not to walk. I could walk but it’s really bad for it. I’m glad you do PT exercises and that they’re helping!

      • kingmidget October 5, 2014 at 7:24 pm

        The sports doc told me to try physical therapy. I did for almost a year and nothing seemed to improve. Than I didn’t do anything for about a year. Then I decided to try to do a little of this and a little of that and things immediately started to hurt again. So I stopped and didn’t do much for about another year. I could bicycle without any difficulty, but it’s much more difficult for me to find the time and space for long bicycle rides. So, it’s just not a convenient form of exercise for me. Earlier this year, I decided I was going to go back and demand an MRI and surgery, but I decided to try something on my own one more time. The running and exercises, like I said, seem to be working. Not in terms of healing the injury. Instead, I have found a way to stay physically active and get back in physical shape. I don’t think I’ll ever have a “normal” groin again. 🙂

      • Gibber October 5, 2014 at 7:52 pm

        Yeah I didn’t find the physio helped either. The bike was the only think in physio I was allowed to do other than specific exercises they gave me. I hate biking…lol It hurt anyway so they stopped me. It probably won’t ever be the same but I”m at least glad that you can run. I”m at a point that I can workout and I do everyday. I probably won’t be able to ever do kick boxing again…lol I just have to listen to the warnings when I feel them.

      • kingmidget October 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm

        Listen to the warnings. Exactly. For several years, every couple of months I would have a few days where I could barely walk. And I couldn’t figure out why. It would just … happen. I don’t remember the last time that happened. I will keep running until it happens again. Fingers crossed. It’s funny. Last weekend I jogged 7.5 miles. Today, I went on the 8.5 mile hike/walk with my mom. In some respects I feel worse today than I did after that 7.5 miles last weekend.

      • Gibber October 5, 2014 at 8:10 pm

        Youch! Here’s hoping it doesn’t happen again! I’m not sure but I think walking is worse for it than running. Maybe different stride and weight distribution. Have fun and I hope it doesn’t misbehave!

        Sorry you feel worse today. Take two beers and call me in the morning..

  3. Kevin Brennan October 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Wow! I love that hike (and have done it many times), but it’s also amazing how much your family and mine are alike. Just goes to show that the boilerplate model isn’t always what works best.

    Plus, my mother’s birthday was yesterday! (79)

  4. sknicholls October 5, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Great for you, your mom, and your brother. I would walk that far for such a beautiful view…but I’d want to camp for the night and walk back tomorrow. My kids talk to me…the daughter does almost every day (I think it’s a girl thing). I don’t hear from my boys unless I call them. (One exception…if something is terribly wrong I’ll hear from my oldest son, he’ll call for advice. He says he doesn’t want to bother me with trivial matters.) My youngest son’s house burned down. He didn’t even call to tell me. I had to find out from his sister.

    • kingmidget October 6, 2014 at 6:10 am

      When my older son went away to college last year, I told him I wasn’t going to call him or text him unless I needed to. I wasn’t going to be checking up on him every day. A few weeks in, I was talking to him and asked him how things were going. “Fine,” he replied. “But mom needs to stop calling me.” 😉

  5. olivia October 6, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I like this story, but then again, I call my child little beast 😉 I hope to be as fit of an older woman as your mother! Awesome view, too.

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