our excellent adventure

Stepping to the crest of a small dune we finally spied the Atlantic spreading out before us in a bed of waves. Despite a ten-minute visit, it quenched my thirst for the sight, sound and smell of open ocean and the ability to see for miles. We hobbled to the shore with our belligerent child, wrestling with him every step of the way. When we reached the surf, it lapped his feet and shins. He leaned forward to touch it. Surrendering, I gently let him drop, the salty water washing over his legs. Clearly thrilled, he squealed and splashed and flailed, then took up a fist of sand and got it partway to his mouth before I interfered. His diaper filled with seawater until it nearly burst open. Once there, mingling with the ocean—the water his second home like it is for me—he didn't want to leave, so our trek back to the car was nearly as tough as the one out to the sea.

Our trip last week to Florida was a successful one on so many levels. It was the first time we'd taken Calvin on a plane since 2011. It was the first time we'd taken a vacation packing his cannabis oils; thankfully, TSA had changed their rules on medical marijuana about a week or two before our departure. Our flights were on time. Not unlike Houdini, I managed to change Calvin's wet diapers in the tiny airplane bathrooms.

During our excursion, Calvin remained seizure free. Two loving caregivers, Jessica and Cassandria, stayed with Calvin and put him to bed so that Michael and I could attend two dinners "out." The women's attentiveness, professionalism and affection left me wishing they'd move to Maine.

We made it to the beach and lounged beside the pool in the shade of palm trees. We were graced with gorgeous, sunny weather with barely a hint of humidity.

For the first time, I was able to meet my friend, writer and professor of English at the University of North Florida, Chris Gabbard, face to face. He gave me a copy of his celebrated new memoir, A Life Beyond Reason, written about his beloved son August, who I believe was much like Calvin.

On one night, I had the absolute pleasure of partying with a table full of interesting, energetic, curious, compassionate and humorous septua-, octo- and nonagenarians at my mother-in-law's eightieth birthday dinner. Calvin got to see his grandparents, grandaunt and all of his aunts, uncles and cousins on Michael's side. I was happy to have conversations, albeit short ones, with all of my in-laws, especially my niece and nephews, whom I love and am so proud of and miss when we are away. And Madison, our niece, doted on Calvin and played with him in the pool.

Calvin with his buddy, Madison

1 comment:

  1. I've loved hearing about your trip -- even the messy parts! And I just finished Chris' book -- love, love, love. It's so fantastic to read a father's account of caregiving.