Bursting with Pride (Capira, Panama)

I’m proud of my boys.  Really proud.

I realized today that I’ve been taking the boys for granted.  When we first started this trip over a year ago, I was busting with pride seeing the boys rise to whatever challenges we put in front of them.  But lately, I’ve been taking them for granted.  There is no doubt whatsoever anymore that the boys can do this, so I think I just kinda forget how remarkable they are.  But I was reminded today just how much I’ve come to rely on them.

I was hurting today – big time.  My stomach hurt and it periodically cramped up feeling like someone took a big ol’ staple gun to my gut.  I had gotten pretty dehydrated yesterday, and was still feeling the effects of that.  And I was tired.

That sea breeze that we had hoped would cool the tent down last night?  It disappeared.  Vanished before our very eyes.  The night was utterly still with not even a hint of a whisper of wind and the tent was stifling.  Fortunately, John and Daryl slept in Ron’s RV, leaving the tent for me and Davy to spread out in – but it was still miserable.  I fell asleep about 30 minutes before John woke me up in the morning.

So there I was – pedaling up steep hills on the hottest day we’ve had yet, already dehydrated from yesterday and getting more so by the minute, sick to my stomach, and tired.  Oh so tired.  I wasn’t sure I would make it.

11-year-old Davy, knowing I was feeling lousy, fell into position right behind me.  All day he stayed right on my tail – never dropping back, never pushing on ahead.  Escorting me.

And I remember looking in my rear view mirror at the young man behind me thinking, “I’m so glad he’s there.  If I collapse and tumble down, Davy will be able to help.  He’ll know what to do.” And I was very comforted by that thought.

I suppose there comes a time in every parent’s life when they realize the tides are turning; when they realize their children are, all of a sudden, able to take care of their parents rather than being cared for.  But I never expected that day to come so soon.

By the time we pulled into Capira, I was exhausted.  Beyond exhausted – I was falling-off-the-bike-and-collapsing-to-the-ground tired.  I was done.  Finito.  Ain’t gonna go no more today.  Uh uh.

And then we found out there was no hotel in Capira.  No place at all.  Push on 20 km through the mountains to the next town?  No way.

We’re now hanging out at the local fire department.  Our tent is set up on the concrete floor under an awning.  Our only hope at this point is that, due to all the climbing we did today, it will be at least tolerable in there.  I don’t think I can handle another sleepless night.

Kilometers today:  62
Kilometers to date:  14616

Waiting out the rain in a bus stop

Waiting out the rain in a bus stop

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel