Posts tagged ‘vacation’

May 26, 2013

good medicine

my family has just returned from a week away to tofino, a small and remote town on the west coast of vancouver island that serves as our home away from home.

sometimes, when driving in, and this trip was no exception, i realize what i seem to forget over and over: that this is where i went missing. it’s no one’s fault that we moved out so fast but, evidently, i wasn’t ready.

as it is now, life finds us well in vancouver, and we have a roundness and a wholeness to our life that we could not have achieved on the edge.  i remain confident that we made the right choice for our then son and now our plus one but my ghost lingers in that land, and i could almost hear pieces of me coming together as we drove further along, remnants of a spirit self lurking behind every curve of the treacherous highway and then surfacing, finding me.

my spouse drove us in steady, silent in thought and tapping his fingers to music we couldn’t hear, at ease in the familiar and soon to be in his family home, that of his family of origin- those that make him who he is and help explain some of what he has never been able to say.

my big boy, excited and anxious, desperate with anticipation to see “the tofino house” and the cousins that he adores and idolizes, played out every road trip cliche, asking every few minutes if we were there yet, begging for us to hurry, fighting sleep with repetitive movement like shaking his head, kicking his legs, rocking backwards and forward, and making obnoxious noises that he generously referred to as “songs”.

our precious baby, a living lesson in keeping an open heart and trusting those who love you, curiously looked at the passing scenery with an uninformed yet peaceful acceptance.

it seemed that all of us but our ever consistent baby behaved differently en route, gradually admitting to ourselves how much we miss living there and how right it feels to return.

we eventually arrived and unpacked- some baggage too. it was unintentional but the air, heavy with moisture, met my face and the release was immediate. then, on wednesday, a few days in, the release deepened. just like in yoga when the pose is enhanced by your breath alone.

my big boy had asked me on a date to the beach, just me and him, you see, and we went of course. he and i can’t get enough of that air- it brings us both to who we wish we could be, i think. he was down the path and soon knee deep in the water, and i, standing tall and facing the roar, was immediately overwhelmed with the sight of him free and unrestricted. both of us, made fresh, made clear, in mere moments.

it’s always been this way for me. same goes for him.

we spent his maternity leave in tofino and with hours and hours a day with nothing to do but love him, we found ourselves on long beach walks, almost everyday. not for nothing, either. tightly wound and full of complaint inside, my baby boy relaxed seconds after we closed the front door behind us, as did i. regardless of the weather, often near tempest, we were there, usually first thing in the morning before our moods could get ahead of us.

i remember walking with him mid winter in torrential rain, me in full rain gear and his stroller encased: a safe haven against the elements and his mother’s angst while she was making sense of her new life. it wasn’t an easy time. my first son was sensitive and particular and a lot of effort was required of me to keep his wails away. i sorted us both out over time, especially when i built in the beach ceremony- with waves and blood pulsing it all made sense somehow and i came to measure my parenting success on any one day if i achieved him getting rosy cheeks.

on crazy days, i thought that if he could face and take in enough of the storm that he’d be healthy, well raised, though i still don’t really know the details why. regardless, pushing him before me did us both good. i always returned from the treks breathing heavy and legs tingling, all my inner tumultuousness quieted by the louder chaos outside, and our days were calmer together, and brighter, optimistic even, having already conquered something, anything, that day.

this date day, all these years later, he was before me again. he had the same eyes, same look, and same vibe as he did when he was the most compact and intense version of himself but he’s matured so much now, and so have i. we made it. we made it through the dark, both emotional and literal, as tofino winters are not known to be luminous, and we made it all the way to another gorgeous life joining us on our journey of being born a family.

our morning at the beach was too soon over and, before we knew it, we all found ourselves on the ride home- marked by satisfaction and fatigue.

“are we there yet?”, he asked as we drove towards our permanent home. “i think so”, i answered.

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August 17, 2012

camping hurt my feelings

it did. i wish it wasn’t true but camping in 40 + degree heat with an almost 3 year old, a bursting through the skin baby belly, a tent, and little shade was not a good move. this experiment in internal strength was ONLY made bearable because of the delight i know moo was experiencing and the full assist of mucho excellente husband type and equally darling grandparent types.

otherwise, i was an eff’n hot mess of a beast who probably shouldn’t have been allowed to cross the border into the depths of family fun (read: endurance test) we had embarked on. really. who goes camping at 30 weeks pregnant in the first place? and then, to the desert? fools do, and a fool i am.

to make matters worse, when you are camping near a lake in the scorching heat, swimming is the activity of choice. ever seen my fat ass in a bathing suit? likely not, for good reason. but, because i apparently lack insight and have compromised judgement i thought that there was no time like the present to squeeze my over sized belly and 45 pounds of since conception weight gain into a little number for the public’s viewing pleasure. the good news is, my elephant like edematous ankles countered some of the top-heavy appearance and i may have achieved something bordering on proportionate disgusto, if nothing else.

did i mention the heat rash? eff yes my dear friends. now, thighs can be expected, this haunts anybody in said heat and swim wear who is not pre-pubescent or super duper skinny. this i can take, even without a sense of personal failure. the under arms, however, are over the top. how is it that my arms have become so deconditioned that they now brush against my ample (generous term for obscene) bosom and that this mismatch in skin and moisture created a feverish and sensitive pseudo burn up my inner arm? fack.

speaking of burns, the fact that i have been queen sensitivo since pregnancy number 1 and now develop welts on my face should anything but one single line of overpriced chemical magic come into contact was trying enough. but, when in the sun, sunscreen is recommended. and, my freaky skin + sunscreen = awesome welts intensifying and becoming flaming blemishes of what could understandably be mistaken for flesh eating disease.

full disclosure, this has been a challenge i have not managed to weather with any grace. it’s hard to have your skin, on your face, swell and hurt and make you look worse than you already do. end pity party.

point is, i finally thought i was safe when said overpriced / chemical storm of a  product line introduced me to a sunscreen that had very like ingredients to my already favored and trusted lotion which, in addition to ensuring i never age secondary to developmental or environmental threats also  promises to protect me from the damages of emotional stress (regardless that i think that’s eff’n impossible, i love it and may even hope that it kinda works).

i had reason to believe. afterall, the sunscreen did not result in immediate facial eruption. i did the test patch: no ugly. i did it again: no ugly. i used it for 3 whole days: no ugly. but, unfortunately, my skin, a whole new world post delivery of the moo and straight up doomsday since conception of the bean in me, decided that 4 days of sunscreen was excessive and blew the eff up. hard. so, i spent day 4-7 of our getaway blistered and revolting and looking like an idiot who didn’t follow any sun smart principles.

may i remind you, i.can’t.drink.

point is, we had a wicked rad family time of serious quality and memory making goodness and now, i’m glad to be home. ah, the things we do for our children.

p.s.- have you ever seen my husband in a bathing suit? what a babe. chocolate, fit, glistening in his beauty body complete with a shining and giving heart. he is all good and YUMMY to boot.  how he deals with his train wreck of a heat grump physical tragedy of a spouse is beyond me. wait, he did go through those cases of cheap american beer pretty fast.

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May 2, 2012

sunday morning in nanaimo

the scene: soft pink pj’s, coffee slurps and spills, dandelions, flip flops, still sleepy city streets.

the soundtrack: your laugh, which resonates like a song because you are that talented.

the goods: girl talk, the ocean view, nothing to do, my moo- so sweet and crusin’ because the universe knew momma needed it that way- and my growing baby (hello you).

just us, memories, wish lives and maybe lives and the constant search for who we might one day become. heart times.