The In-Between. That’s what this story should be about. About how Murph and I masterfully maneuvered through our in-between. How we kicked its ass and taught it some lessons. But that didn’t happen. Not at all. And that’s not what this post is about. Have you read the book called The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing by Jeff Goins? If you haven’t, you should. I hear it’s awesome, and it might have helped me before I landed squarely there. Had I read it, I might be writing a different story instead of this story.
Also, while this is a wild tale about a lot of things, it’s really about what happens when you’re forced (or you know, you force yourself) into the In-Between. And you guys, the In-Between is a hard place to be. In-Between homes. In-Between jobs. In-Between schools. In-Between doctors. In-Between lives. I got a little lost in the In-Between before I got a lot found there. But that’s not it exactly, what this is about, I mean, because it’s about so much more than that. Relocating? Moving? Starting over? Resetting our barometers? Ehlers-Danlos? The universe? Dan Pearce and his #365DaystoLive? Framily (yeah, I spelled that right; it’s even in Urban Dictionary).
I almost forget what the topic of this post was going to be. Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. But I need to tell this story, and I need to tell it now before I forget, or before it’s irrelevant, and so I can tell all the other stories that are begging to be told.
Where do I start? We wondered that for a moment a week and a half ago. Is it funny or is it sad? Were we laughing so hard to keep from crying? Maybe I just start and see where it goes?
I got the dream job in the dream place in Far, Far Away, and Murph and I started the arduous process of not packing. We discovered that we are exceptionally talented at not packing, and I am considering offering webinars and podcasts on how to not pack for a major cross-country move and maybe writing a short book called How to Not Prepare for a Major Relocation. Not packing involved going to see movies, binge watching Netflix, hanging out with friends, searching for irrelevant, trivial things we lost years ago, looking at pictures of our new home and eating pizza. Also, I may list not packing and/or relocation consultant as special skills on my LinkedIn profile, so please give me a recommendation for them because I really did rock it. Between the time that I accepted the offer and we left town, we packed next to nothing. Everyone (and by that I mean no one, not one human, no earthling or even a dog) was remotely impressed.
We were supposed to leave on Monday and enjoy a long, adventurous, meandering trip visiting historical sites and seeing friends before landing in paradise with a day or two to spare for unpacking and having fun in the sand and sea. But not much got packed by Monday morning. Or Monday evening. So then, we were leaving Tuesday. And again…nope. Wednesday was it. By noon, having packed and repacked the car multiple times and having wept, screamed and declared that we were not going anywhere because I was clearly insane for having even come up with this plan to (or really at) Michele, who demonstrated so much patience and sanity through the whole thing that she surely must have been dipping into my benzos, Murph and I got in the car and headed out.
It was time. Another day was not going to make a difference. Another week wasn’t going to make a difference. You gotta know when to walk away. Kenny Rogers said it best. Any later, and we would have had to run.
The whole idea of throwing in a match and burning it all down makes sense if you’ve ever done this kind of thing. I have, twice, before. Neither time was by choice. The first was because of my sister’s severe mental illness and our mother’s determination to enable her and in doing so become a hostage to her sickness. In its own way, that bought me my freedom and cost my mother her own, but I lost an awful lot, and it took a long time to regroup. The second was because of my husband and his vanishing act while I was pregnant. But this time, I picked it. With Murph. We’d talked. We’d decided. We wanted this. But burning it all down behind you is easy. Because then you don’t have to choose. You don’t have to pick which “thing” means more than another or what stays or goes. Nothing does. You start over. It’s in the choosing and the remembering and the handling that it gets impossible and overwhelming and emotional. And impossible leads to immobilized. And that’s where we were.
But burning it all down behind you is easy. Because then you don’t have to choose. You don’t have to pick which “thing” means more than another or what stays or goes. Nothing does. You start over. It’s in the choosing and the remembering and the handling that it gets impossible and overwhelming and emotional. And impossible leads to immobilized. And that’s where we were.
So, off we went. Two irate cats noisily beating the shit out of each other and hissing like snakes in a pet crate, four hermit crabs who couldn’t have cared less about what was going on, a giant metal chicken tied to a bike rack, one stressed-out kid and one stressed-out mother.
We never even looked in the rearview mirror. I forgot that for a while, but I remembered it when I was ready. Neither one of us took a picture, and neither one of us looked back.
Did I say that I planned this trip? Okay, I planned it in my head but did little else. It’s kind of like the second part of my not packing strategy. Let’s just be blunt. I was doing my best Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind “I’ll think about that tomorrow” act through this whole thing, and then suddenly it was tomorrow, and it’s a damned good thing my gold velvet Pottery Barn drapes had already fallen down when the dog was chasing the cat, or I’d probably have turned them into a strapless gown and worn it out of the house.
Maybe my plan was to just surprise people along the way; I’m not sure anymore. It’s been a long couple of weeks. I did, however, arrange for us to spend a night at Gwynne’s. I had hoped, if we’d left Monday as planned, to spend a day with her, too, but time was running short. So we headed for her and Jonathan figuring it would be a one-night short visit, and we’d be on our way.
The trip was, initially, pleasant. We went through some state parks. West Virginia was pretty. Then we passed the place that I married Murphy’s dad, and I got a kind of weird tingling on the back of my neck. Really, universe? We’re going to literally head down Memory Lane. Now? Of all times? But I forgot about that as soon as the signs started flashing 10MPH – FOG. Suddenly, we were on the top of some mountain with speeding semis passing by, unable to see through the pouring rain and dense fog as night was falling with a big metal chicken tied to the rear of the car. More than once I thought about turning around.
We finally pulled into the road I hoped was Gwynne’s around 9PM. It was so dark and rainy that the high-beam headlights didn’t even help. The unpaved road was a good half mile long and opened into a group of four well-spaced houses. I had no idea which was hers. And I couldn’t call. Later, I learned I was in one of the very few areas that T-Mobile doesn’t cover. So there we were, Murph not feeling great, cats yowling the howls of the damned, staring at four houses in a really rural area where I was pretty sure everyone was armed to teeth for the coming apocalypse, with no phone service.
I described it as the set for the Blair Witch Project. I wasn’t kidding.
I sat, dumbfounded about what to do next and knowing I needed to be the adult. Murph told me he really felt sick, so I finally said that I was going to go knock on a door and ask where we were. Someone would know Gwynne. Or kill me. Either would have been fine at that point. Then I handed him the Wusthof Chef’s Knife (which I highly recommend for all things kitchening, chopping, slicing and dicing and in the event that you land in the middle of nowhere with no weapons it’s big, sharp, heavy and scary) that was handily located in the tub of cosmetics I will not ever use again (I told you we excel at not packing) and said that if anyone came out with a gun, to run away with the knife and try to be safe. What can I say? It was late, we were exhausted, and we didn’t know which inn was going to have room for us.
Luckily, the house I approached was G’s. And we walked in just as a middle school graduation party for her youngest was ending. Murph asked where the bathroom was and promptly began vomiting loudly. And that’s when things actually got bad.
You thought it was bad before and the fun stuff was about to happen? Oh no. That was only the beginning.
He had a rough night, with stomach pain and dry heaving, restless sleep and lots of angst, and we chalked it up to a variety of things. Rough travel. Car sickness. Claustrophobia in the back seat. Possible food poisoning. A virus. An abdominal migraine. Gastroparesis. G is a veterinary nurse and has Ehlers-Danlos herself and is a wealth of medical knowledge. We were concerned, but not overly so. It had been a rough day and night. We were anxious and stressed to the max. We dosed him with his own prescription meds and Gwynne’s essential oils. We found the peppermint oil to be especially helpful, and Murph demanded that I order some so that we’d have it if he ever felt this way again. It does help him.
The next morning, it was clear that we weren’t travelling. I hadn’t slept at all. Murph spent the day trying to vomit, sipping ginger ale and sleeping. His color was off, but his appetite was okay. We thought that was an improvement. We were so wrong. We also realized that I’d left all of my required daily medications – you know, like the blood pressure meds, the thyroid meds and, best of all, the anxiety meds – somewhere in the house in PA. Not even kidding. No Bystolic. No Levo. NO XANAX.
There I was, dealing with an incredibly complicated child showing new and not-so-cool symptoms in the midst of a yuge life change in a bucolic and gorgeous but way more remote area of the world than I preferred, without any of the medications that might have helped me manage. So, of course, we figured out what to do. Gwynne doused me with Lavender and Valor oils and said the magic incantation that should have sent the demons away. We waited, but they were persistent demons, so we had to go to Plan B, which involved me driving somewhere that my might phone might pick up a signal and having a total mental meltdown in a Burger King parking lot 20 miles further than I should have driven because I didn’t know where I was without Waze.
I called my mother for help. But she said she was at the beach with her friends and sounded annoyed. I called Michele. She asked where they were in the house. I laughed in a sort of deranged, semi-hysterical way, drove back to the farm, and Gwynne and I went outside to unpack the car to make sure I didn’t have them. That’s when we realized the true extent of my genius level of not packing and decided I had to share my methods with the world. Because while I left my life-sustaining medications at home, I brought two (not one, two) metal chickens, three ice scrapers, one mitten, a Burberry tote bag, four pairs of bedroom slippers and a variety of other strange things like decorative seasonal flags and a henna tattoo kit.
And that’s when I remembered the photos I’d taken before I left. So we spent a couple of hours playing a desperately pathetic and truly funny game of Hidden Objects with the twelve photos of the disaster we’d left behind, searching with less and less hope for a bag of medication and an LG tablet that we’d been unable to locate. We found no joy but much laughter and contemplated putting the photos on Facebook and offering a reward to any of our friends who could locate anything of value in the debris.
Murph woke up after a long nap, and we thought he was getting better. I figured we could leave the next day, Friday, and sort of be on track. We had a cushion with time. But on Thursday night, late, things got worse. All parents know that kids will never get sick at convenient times, like at 11AM on a weekday. No, they wait til late at night, when you’re in the middle of nowhere and then try their very hardest to die.
His head ached. He spiked a fever. His stomach hurt. Muscle spasms wracked his little body. Nerve jolts plagued him. It was like a crescendo of all the awful symptoms we’d thought we’d been managing. Gwynne put him in a bath of magnesium salts. We stood just outside the bathroom as he screamed and writhed in the tub, overwrought, overtired and in pain. We waited, helpless to do anything but hope it was going to calm him. I asked where the nearest ER was, unsure they could even do anything to help. The only good thing about what was happening was that for the first time in Murph’s life, I was not the lone adult dealing with the cascade at the point where he could not anymore. And guys, that was nice. I hate that he was sick, and I’d cut off an arm or a leg or my head to make him better, but to not be alone with it, even once? That was a blessing in the midst of sheer hell.
“I get it,” she said, looking as tired and helpless as I felt. “I get the posts on Facebook when you say that you’re exhausted and can’t do this anymore and people offer to help and you say ‘It’s too complicated.’ You really can’t just leave him with anyone.”
“Nope. I can’t.”
OMG. Someone actually understood. I’m not overprotective. I don’t just like to whine and not take the help that’s offered. I’m not ungrateful and I do appreciate the offers. But it’s impossible to leave him with just anyone. My brother tells him water cures migraines. My mother refuses to accept that Ehlers-Danlos impacts his life at all because a doctor in Metabolism at CHOP in 2014 said its current presentation was mild. She missed the part where the same doctor said it could turn on a dime and become a monster. My sister cries when I tell her to give him his damned medicine and not to question me about it because it’s a fucking need. Michele would ask me what to do. She gets it, she has a medical background, she wouldn’t panic, but she hasn’t seen it and doesn’t really know how its tentacles extend. Deirdre would know what she doesn’t know and she’d figure out who to call. But the circle of trust with his care, and even more so with people he’d trust to care for him? That’s a really small circle.
Eventually, he calmed, the spasms stopped, his nerves settled and his stomach relaxed. We got him into bed and watched as he slept fitfully. Around 3AM, he woke, and Gwynne did Reiki to help put him back to sleep. Sometime after that, the fever broke.
The next morning, Gwynne and I regrouped in the kitchen. Neither of us had slept much, and both of us were exhausted and baffled. The kiddo was sleeping late, which we took as a good sign. There was no going back for me and Murph. There was no home left at home to which we could return. We were truly In-Between. There was only forward, which was, at the time, looking like a worse and worse idea. And by then, the thing that was most clear to us was that Murphy could not make the drive.
I briefly considered pitching a tent in their back yard. Or buying a decrepit RV and towing it there. Getting a tiny house? I contemplated leaving the car, full of our stuff, and letting Gwynne and Jonathan drive it down when they could. With a couple suitcases, Murph and I could fly. But we’d need a car once there, so that wasn’t an ideal option. We thought about who could drive it down for us if we did fly. I thought about just leaving it and returning at some point to get it. I looked at maps and tried to figure out how long it would take to get there if we did it in tiny bits of hour-long drives. Forever. That’s how long. Forever long. Murph would be able to drive himself by the time we got there. I was not about to risk giving him to my family if he was truly sick, so I didn’t even think about those options. And then G asked how I felt about him flying as an unaccompanied minor. I’m pretty sure that’s when my head actually exploded, and the dream job turned into the nightmare scenario.
He’d flow before, when he was 2 and I was looking at a job in Antigua. But never since. When he finally woke up, I was at the end of my very frayed rope, and I asked him if that was preferable to the drive. And he said it was. With absolutely no hesitation, he told me that he did not think he could manage the car again. His relief at an option other than the car was palpable. He actually perked up. He got his color back. And that’s kind of huge for Murph. He doesn’t stay with people ever. He won’t even stay with his grandmother, aunt or uncle. They all blame me for being overprotective or wanting to keep him away from them, and I let them because that’s what moms do. They take the heat. But the truth is, he will not do it. He does not trust that they can take care of him if something goes haywire in his body. So for him to say that he’d stay with Gwynne and Jonathan was a really big deal.
And so we came up with a plan so logistically complicated that we should both have earned honorary engineering degrees. Working with Gwynne’s phone as a wireless hotspot, we searched the internet with her Ipad and my phone. Murph would stay with Gwynne and Jonathan for a couple of days and go to a car show and a graduation party and have fun, and I’d head out in the car, with the dynamic catastic duo even dude from My Cat From Hell with his guitar case full of magic catnip couldn’t tame and the hermit crabs (who discovered they like traveling because nothing in my life can be normal). G would put him on a plane, and I would get him off. The timing had to be perfect. I made some calls. I made more calls. People called back because no one recognized Gwynne’s number. Remember, I was doing this with no cell signal. I booked the flight on Southwest, with the nicest lady who ever worked in customer service.
I looked at my only child, wondering if what I was doing was right or if I had just made the biggest fucking mistake in his life. The one that would put all the other little post-its in his “Shit to Tell Your Therapist” jar to shame. The life-altering, life-ruining one for which I’d never be forgiven. Somewhere in-between when we’d left and that fateful Friday morning, I’d lost any faith that this was a good idea. Self-doubt clouded everything. Maybe it was not having my meds. Maybe it was worrying about taking Murph away from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Maybe it leaving all of our stuff, all of our friends and everything familiar. But that sense that it was all working out for a good reason? Yeah, that was long gone. I was feeling full-on dread and panic while Murph was quickly recovering and texting Jonathan that he should prepare to die at the hands of his light saber when he came home from work.
The next morning, I got up early and packed up the car. Murphy was better-ish. He was looking healthier. Jonathan gave me a hug and reassured me that they’d have a blast and I’d see him in no time.
As I put the bike rack on the car, I looked at Beyonce the Metal Chicken, and I put her down.
“I’m leaving her with you, too.” I told Gwynne. “She’s a loaner chicken. You have to promise to visit, and you have to bring her with you.” We laughed a little. We cried a little. Driving away was really, really hard.
And so I left my only child with my ex-boyfriend’s ex-wife and her husband (who is our ex’s inexplicable but full-on nemesis), whom I’d known for years via text and Facebook but had only met in real life three days before. Did I leave that part out? Probably. That’s quite a story in and of itself. You need to read the hilarity about Jay (Part 1 and Part 2 ) to get the whole picture. I knew he was in good hands. So did he. Murph is no dummy. Three days or three decades. It didn’t matter.
I drove straight for almost twelve hours that day through deserted dust bowl towns where I was the only car on the road for hours and saw entire main streets that were literally shuttered and falling down. Things that you see in post-apocalyptic movies. Or on the set of The Walking Dead right before a walker herd attacks or people jump out and start shooting. There I was, a lone White chick with a car full of yowling cats, busy hermit crabs and designer clothes, obviously moving, in a nice SUV, alone in a part of the world where people could just vanish (and have in some Lifetime Movies for Women) with no fucking cell service for miles. I had a panic attack going over a bridge, decided I hated water and that it made me feel claustrophobic, questioned what had ever made me think I could live on an island or work on a boat and almost sent an email declining the dream job from my phone. I actually drafted the letter and tried to send it. But I didn’t have a signal. As Garth Brooks wisely pointed out, sometimes, we have to thank God for unanswered prayers. Or something like that.
I didn’t get to see Courtney and Millie, so I cried as I drove through the state where they live because I miss them. I passed several places I think I recognized from Deliverance and randomly remembered some movie (probably on Lifetime) about some rural sheriff making up crimes women had committed and making them serve time as slave labor. Taking them off the face of the earth. Fries started chirping and chittering at me, and even though I threatened to throw him out a window, he just peed at me with his eyes and kept up his creepy singing. Two hours from my destination, I realized I hadn’t heard the cats in hours, convinced myself they were dead in the crate, had another panic attack thinking about telling Murph the trip had killed his pets, and then just headed straight to other framily, Pam and Jim, who were waiting for me. I could barely think when I arrived.
I pulled over when I got to their development and sobbed for ten or fifteen minutes while the phone beeped with texts about where I was and cars passed by.
I didn’t think “sitting 10 feet from your gatehouse sobbing my eyes out and wondering if jumping off that bridge to the ocean would actually kill me or only injure me” was a good or productive response. I was overwrought, exhausted by the stress and the worry and the lack of sleep and going cold-turkey off of all my medications and the sheer enormity of what I’d done in the past week. I missed my baby. I missed my stuff. I missed my friends. I couldn’t stop crying. Finally, I got my act together. I was hardly able to walk into the house. I barely ate dinner. I barely spoke. I admitted that I thought that this was huge mistake. YUGE. A bigly error in judgment. It was all wrong. I wanted to go back. Head north. Head west. I could not go on. I did not think I could point the car towards our destination. They listened. They told me it would be okay. But nothing felt okay. We were moving to another world, with not-great access to complicated medical things, far from my support group, and my child was about to get on a plane, alone.
In the morning, we got the prescriptions filled when I got up. We went to Walmart, where I bought toiletries and shorts and t-shirts because I didn’t know where mine were in the car of doom. I took a long, cool shower. The meds kicked in. I started to unwind. I ate lunch. For real. Not just picking, which was all I’d been able to do all week. By the time I got back in the car, Pam and Jim and the meds had put me mostly back together, and it was only another 4 or 5 hours to the airport where I’d pick up Murph.
And something happened on that drive. It was lovely; a clear and sunny Memorial Day Sunday with little traffic. Beautiful. Green and lush and warm and exotic. I thought about Murphy, who was having a ball with Gwynne and Jonathan and their kids. He’d played in a Walmart. He’d thrown up off a balcony onto a roof at a graduation party the night before, and everyone thought it was hilarious. The excitement in his voice as he’d told me had left both me and Pam laughing. He was lobbing water balloons and running around farms, and he’d chopped down two trees with an axe to build a volleyball net. He was being 10. He was relaxing. He sounded like he’d decompressed. He sounded like a happy kid.
Gwynne was watching Murphy, and she was explaining to him how his body works. Because hers works that way, too. I can explain to medical professionals and teachers the ins and outs of Ehlers-Danlos. I can advocate, and I can tell people what to do. I’ve read the books. Hell, I read the medical research journals. But I don’t have it. I get it the best way that an outsider can get anything. And she is the first person he met who does have it, and who understands its ins and outs and who knew what he was feeling and could explain why and help him make it stop. There was a bond there. And she’s everyone’s mother; she’s that kind of woman. Kids, pets, plants, other people. She’s just got that warm, maternal vibe some women who are not me have (I do have other talents, like not packing). My kid who doesn’t trust easily trusts her. He’d found some of his tribe.
And in Jonathan he’d found a man who likes kids. It’s not a pretense, and he’s not tolerating him. He’s like a big kid himself. They played with toys and did boy things and fought with light sabers. And Daniel, I think, was evaluating him as a role model. I’m pretty sure Jonathan passed that test. And in Jonathan’s eyes I saw the same things that I feel. The frustration with this freaking disease that steals the joy from the people we love, along with the compassion, the exhaustion, the anger and the hope that you feel as someone who takes care of someone with Ehlers-Danlos and its constellation of extra bonus complications. I wasn’t alone, either. For the first time, I felt a little less guilty about my own frustrations with EDS. I’m not the only one who loves someone with it.
As the miles passed, so did most of my “give a shit” about all of the stuff I’d left behind me. People who were on my last nerve. Carrie the Car Bitch. My Neighbors from Hell (not the dude who brought me food and wine, 1980s Hair Band Chick and the Queen of Misery). Things left undone. Words left unsaid. Stuff left unpacked. I felt lighter and better than I had in a long time as the miles stretched behind me.
So maybe, just like the job fell into place, and the house we were moving to fell into place, and the money fell into place, and all the rest fell into place, this fell into place, too. Maybe the universe knew what it was doing when it sent us there and then stuck us there. Because we have some added framily now. When something weird happens with him, she’s met him, she’s seen him, she gets him, and I can call and ask for help. If I need to travel for work or need a break or Murph wants to go run wild in the mountains, rivers and valleys north of here and pick up an accent, I have a place he can go, where I know they will “get” how complicated he can be and keep him safe while he has fun. Sure, it could be a sinus headache. But also Chiari. Or a migraine. Or POTS. Or 64 million thousand hundred other things. And while it probably isn’t, you have to be aware of them all while you treat the kiddo and you have to know when to go get help and what to say. Gwynne and Jonathan get that, and that’s a rare gift for a solo mom with a medically complicated kid.
I wondered, during that drive, if that stop, which was, in all honesty if I’m going to tell you the whole truth, the only thing I was sure we were going to do while we were not packing and not making travel arrangements and wasn’t even on the actual way to where we were going, had been part of the universe’s plan all along. We were going to Gwynne’s. After that? Eh, I had some ideas.
Fucking universe. Always with the planning and the falling into place.
Gwynne got him on the plane. Her daughter Grace kept him calm and told him it would be super-fun. They did what I could not. He got on the plane, and he flew like a pro.
On the second leg of the flight, he sat next to a television celebrity whom he love love loves, and she taught him how to play poker.
He came out of the gate excited, exuberant and a little bit different to a mother who was confident, more relaxed and ready to move forward with the excitement that our new life deserved. We weren’t heading to a freaking prison; we were heading to heaven. It was time for us to start acting like it, even if I was watching him like a hawk for any sign of the mysterious illness that had held us up and derailed my non-existent plans. But I didn’t see it.
I slept that night for the first time in a week. And I found my certainty again, along with the rest of my sanity. It took Murph a few hours longer. He cried as we passed the last Walmart we’d see for a long time. But he stopped when he started seeing the water and wildlife. The blue skies and azure bays calmed him like I thought they might. They do that.
Along the way, we passed a metalworking store. Metal sea life was everywhere. I was ecstatic. Missing Beyonce was a real thing for me. But I thought…a metal crab. A metal crab would help.
So we got out and looked around, and while there were metal crabs, there were all meant to hang on walls. None was a metal hermit crab.
I was a bit fascinated with a tall, rocking metal flamingo that could take off the hand of a small child who wasn’t being careful (see? no Mom vibe) when Murph disappeared. My “where’d he go” radar kicked in, and I wandered away until I heard him talking to someone.
“She left Beyonce, her big metal chicken, with my Aunt Gwynne because I was sick and she was taking care of me, and that was the only thing that she brought from our old house that she really wanted to have. She loved it. It made her laugh. We don’t have much money, and she’s had a really hard time. I have $20. Do you have a metal chicken?”
My eyes welled up. This kid. OMG. This kid.
A man’s voice replied, “Well, you know, I have a big metal rooster out in the back. No one has really wanted him. I think he’s too big, to be honest. He’s been here a while. Let’s go take a look and see what he costs.”
I watched through a window. Daniel’s eyes lit up. The man saw me watching, and I nodded to him. He picked up the giant rooster and brought it outside. Daniel gave him the $20 he’d been saving for something special for himself and carried it over to me, filled with excitement, joy and the giddy craziness we get from procuring metal critters. I hugged his little body as hard as I could and pronounced that he was a hero, and we would, in fact, be driving into town with a giant metal rooster tied to our bike rack. And his name would be Jay Z.
As he dragged Jay Z (of course, he’s Jay Z because we have Beyonce and Blue Ivy), I asked the man what the balance was and he asked for another $20. I looked at that tag that read $140 and raised my eyebrow. He said it was really worth it to just see the boy’s face light up, and he hadn’t felt so good about anything in a while. Murph has that weird effect on people. I snapped a photo of him, Murph and Jay Z, and somehow, I think if we head back up that way again, we’ll see it hanging somewhere in the shop. Maybe you will, too, if you come to visit.
We ate dinner at a restaurant on the beach watching dolphins play and giant pelicans swoop down to grab fish from the crystal clear water, and I asked him if he could get used to this. He said he’d try with a snarky look.
A while later, swimming in the dark, we named the constellations we could see in the clear night sky. They looked close enough to touch. The water was warm, and there wasn’t even a chill when we got out and laid on the lounge chairs. There was a warm, quiet, safe silence on the small patch of land in the wide open sea.
“This is home now?” he asked like he was trying to wrap his head around it.
“This is home now.”
Things we are loving and wishing we had (I really want that Wonder Woman Tervis cup, and I think I deserve it after all this):
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