another milestone

If you are wondering why I am not writing much lately it is because, a) Calvin was home from school for three weeks without a nurse to give me a break, b) Calvin has a broken foot, making it slightly more difficult to care for him than usual, c) I’ve been deep in thought and lamenting the ongoing rash of African Americans shot by police and the subsequent sniper killings of five officers in Dallas, d) Michael’s family is starting to arrive for a reunion here in Maine, and e) though Calvin began a brief session of summer school on Monday, it only lasts three hours a day four days a week; he’s home by 11:30 a.m. leaving me little time to get much done.

But since I’ve found a sliver of a moment while Calvin plays happily in his bed (safety netting secure overhead so he doesn't fall out and break his other foot), I can tell you about his most recent milestone: We took Calvin out to dinner for, essentially, the first time in his life. I say, “essentially” because when he was an infant, a few times we took him to dinner in his carrier and rested him at our feet. But he has never sat at a table with us in a restaurant for dinner. For a number of reasons—Calvin’s erratic behavior, his seizures, the drug side effects, his inability to sit safely in a chair, his early bedtime—it’s a luxury we’ve been hesitant to indulge.

Yesterday, Michael and I ventured to Sebasco Estates, a local seaside golf resort where his parents are staying in a tiny cottage for a few days before the reunion formally begins. We lounged on a sloping lawn for an hour or so eating crackers and cheese while Calvin mostly amused himself with random toys to bite and chew. When he became restless, we decided to give dinner a try. We figured, if he had a meltdown, we could always take our food in doggie bags. I reasoned that if we didn’t risk giving dinner a go, I’d be limiting my already meager opportunities to get out into the world.

We sat in the outdoor patio area facing the sea. Wind whipped our hair and sun stroked our necks. Calvin sat patiently in a grownup chair at the corner of our table eating the food I’d prepared for the jaunt. The four of us talked politics while sipping from cold beer and bourbon on ice. We managed to finish our meals while Calvin, by then in the upright adaptive stroller we’d borrowed from friends, sat mostly content.

Finally, we got up to leave, gathered Nellie who’d been penned up in the cottage, and said our goodbyes. We were home by 6:45 p.m. in time for Calvin’s evening meds and cannabis oils.

I felt proud, like we’d accomplished a great thing: We had stepped outside of our comfort zone, a zone in which remaining can be a dangerous thing.

hanging with The Fam at Sebasco Estates, photo by Michael Kolster


  1. I hear this a million times over, the 'venturing out of the comfort zone'. SOOO glad you were able to do so!

    I wish I could be there to provide support.

  2. I totally get it and you have a beaming smile of delight trained on you...that's wonderful!