Friday, September 04, 2009

Wanderlust

School's been a bit of a struggle this week. We've had some book work, some art, lots of piano and violin, a kid who set her own alarm for 7:30 and is getting up to take things on in the morning (go back and read that again -- it took me awhile to understand those words myself), some need to confiscate various screened devices (boredom = lots of reading). We've devoured a big box of peaches, tomatoes on the vine, attended to therapies, groceries, more therapies, more reading, earlier bedtimes (recalling the 7:30 alarm -- hooray!), and a gazillion loads of laundry.

Getting the kids into the swing of things is always harder when certain other aspects of life are up in the air. First there's the adjustment involved in coming back from their dad's, then the fact that I'm trying to rearrange chunks of the house. It's a bit confusing, really. Something has simply got to give as far as Q's equipment goes. He must be able to use it, we must all have living space, some of us do enjoy sleep and find the level of chaos surrounding the management of stuff to be time consuming and draining in the extreme.

I fantasize about getting the kids down to a couple of pieces of memorabilia each, their own pillows and sleeping bags, laptops, less than a dozen books, cameras, backpacks, some art supplies, and throwing us all into one of those enormous RVs -- four bunks, each with some shelving and privacy curtains, a couple of drawers and a closet to share. It would have to have a master "suite" which would include a queen bed for Q and me -- other sleeping arrangements would be nearly impossible for him in such a configuration. A crib would take too much space from the rest of the group, and I couldn't put him on the floor because he's getting harder and harder to lift. I think we could easily get his walker and chair into such a space, though. Maybe the feeding chair? Or the Bingo could fold up and slide underneath in those spiffy compartments.

I've always wanted to do this, even before Q. Back when their daddy was working such long hours that it was a serious fantasy of mine just to get him into a place where he couldn't answer a pager, phone, or email, where he could just be with the fam and we with him. I was reasonably sure that even in an RV the bedroom door would have a lock on it, and I wanted us to go see Williamsburg, spend some weeks, maybe months, touring the country, making memories with the kids of caves, canyons, buildings, trains, art, deserts, beaches, us.

Anyhoo, it's still something I'd love to do, with involved and careful planning so we could manage Q's stuff. It has occurred to me that time for something like that may be slipping away as Q gets bigger, his spasticity more pronounced, and he's generally just harder to maneuver. I haven't looked into modifying an RV, but it's expensive to deal with just ordinary autos' mods. I've considered the fact that payments on a ginormous vehicle are less than rent, and that it would be a character building exercise for us to just live in that kind of space.

Aw, c'mon! Think positive! Stop rolling your eyes. Anyway, the kids won't miss it if we never do it, so I will tell myself. They've gotten their RV experience in already, so they're much more pragmatic where I have delusional romantic notions.

How did I get off on that? Oh right, stuff. STUFF. Maybe six years ago now I heard about a guy who decided that since his travels kept him both collecting things and spending very little time actually in his home, with his stuff, he was going to turn all his stuff into digital format. So he took pictures, made notes, wrote a little about the memories he had surrounding those objects, and ended up with a drawer full of compact flash cards in a bank. Wow, I thought. Way to go. Kids and babies do not subscribe to this philosophy of traveling light, be it through life or on actual trips. But with help they can be converted. I'm pretty sure. We're working on it.

There are things I would have once had a serious problem letting go of. They just seemed to represent so much of our family, then -- memories, really. It's amazing how life sometimes conspires to change our attachments. When we were planning a cross-country move it hit me so clearly that the stuff wasn't us. We were more than the things we owned, such as they were. When much of that stuff that I still thought of as precious later disappeared, some in a misunderstanding, some through means I can't really explain, it was an uneasy time. But I'm still here. I still have the memories. Certain things I think I'll always keep (anniversary presents, letters, pictures), but suddenly, well it seems sudden but it was probably years in the making, I want to load up my little brown messenger bag (that I got in college to replace the one that was full of that quarter's books and my whole cashed paycheck and was stolen out of my car when I popped into someone's apartment to say hello one evening...). I want to load that durable little fake leather bag up with a few minor electronic things of mine, put the aforementioned personal items into individual (small) spaces for the kids, and just go. There would be a few other considerations -- I need a decent pillow, Q prefers sleeping on memory foam. We should pack clothes enough to last between laundromats. But Q's not needing doctor visits every five minutes just now (though winter's coming), we have no seizure meds to concern ourselves with and the Baclofen talk doesn't happen until October (new med to try which means we're right here, not going anywhere or doing anything while we figure that out), his equipment is smaller now than it will be in the years to come.

Hey -- I could get the kids' passports all in order and we could see P.E.I. while we're back on that other coast. How cool would that be?

I could continue, but adding detail to the fantasy doesn't really accomplish anything. Q's finally out, and I'm wiped. There's lesson planning to be done, writing, ordering, tossing, filing, and garbage yet to attend to. Aren't brain vacations nice anyway? Maybe we'll have to think up some variations then. Or just go ahead and budget for a 1.5 terabyte external drive. That would hold us for a bit, while I try coming up with some new travel fantasy. Maybe this one should involve nursing care for Q and scheduled naps for me -- probably the single scariest thing to me about taking off cross-country with the kids is how durned tired I am already.

XO, peeps. Hope you're resting well.

1 comment:

Student of History said...

Just thinking of you tonight. Hugs, friend.

Warmly,
Kate