Sometimes I just want to disappear—disappear from chopping breakfast sausage, spinach leaves, chicken thighs and almond butter and jelly sandwiches into bite-sized pieces. Disappear from dicing strawberries and mangos, slicing and separating clementines and cutting grapes in half, from splitting pills for lunch and dinner, from syringing meds and mixing yogurt and making cannabis oil and from spoon feeding my ten-year-old boy at nearly every meal.

I want to disappear from the sleepless nights, from Calvin's whining and screeching and hyper-coughing, from his endless dirty diapers, constant drool, sopping bibs and grinding teeth—and from the seizures.

If I were to disappear I don’t know exactly where I’d go. Likely somewhere sunny with miles of beach and tropical drinks, dark bodies, decent waves, black skies, warm winds. Or, I’d go to a place packed tight with tall buildings, bustling streets, sidewalk cafes, museums galore, street vendors, live music, huge parks and passersby speaking familiar and unfamiliar words.

I’d disappear with Michael but without Calvin, who’d drag me down if it were even possible to bring him along.

I’d disappear to San Francisco or New York or Paris or Rome or Bali or Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo or Morocco or Mexico or Yosemite or Big Sur or Quebec City or Greece or The Cinque Terre or the French Riviera or Lisbon, most of which I’ve been to, others not. I’d sleep in, climb exotic trees, scuba dive, windsurf, hike, ride a Ferris wheel, take in a show or two, dance to some neighborhood Forró, ride a train, climb a mountain, sail an ocean, raft down a river and very simply get lost. I’d soak up art and music, theater and dance, drink wine at lunch, read an entire book, eat things I’ve never tasted before and have numerous animated conversations with people whose language I don’t understand. I’d sleep soundly in a comfortable room without a hissing baby monitor at my head and maybe wake up after sunrise to breakfast in bed or take it in by the side of the sea.

I’d do all these thing, but I’d come back to my Calvin who is alive and doing pretty well considering the circumstances, the drugs, the seizures, the fact that he can’t walk by himself or talk at all or use the toilet. I’d come back to his immense desire for hugs, his giggles and his dimpled smile when I kiss him behind the ear.

I’ve very recently, and long ago, heard too many stories of other parents who aren’t so lucky, whose babies have died, and I imagine these parents might also feel the urge to disappear. And although some of them I don’t know, I want to hold these doting parents in my thoughts—even in my arms—and take them, if only for a moment, to a better place, a place of their choosing that might be far away or, perhaps, very near.

Salvador da Bahia, Brazil


  1. Lump in my throat as I had the same thoughts this morning. Me three.