My blog title today is the song that came on the radio this morning when we were driving home from the hospital after Scarlet got her stitches out. It went very smoothly.
Mark my words: Although the memory of what happened is seared into our minds permanently, there will be no visual reminder to accompany it. However, this healing will take time and we will be patient. We will use a mixture of love and laughter, Doctor’s orders, medicine, and homeopathic remedies. We have an attack plan and it is glorious.
I had been thinking lately about how everything surrounding Scarlet is always so glowy and magical. Then I heard the song this morning and I got a little confirmation from the radio gods. I also got a title and intro to this post. There is a story that I wrote awhile back and just haven’t published it here yet about a haunting vision that came true. After everything that happened, I didn’t know if I was ever going to publish it because it didn’t seem relevant. Well, today it does. Scarlet has given me so much happiness lately and always. I just wanted to share a little story below. I didn’t write it recently but I haven’t changed a thing.
I call it “Moose Pajamas.”
Four summers ago, I went on one of those haunting-in-a-good-way road trips that I seem to go on every so often in my life. And I hope I always will. Stay with me on this blog and I’m sure many other humorous, scary and just plain crazy road trip stories will be revealed.
Anyway, my ex – let’s call him D – and I had planned a wild adventure to fly to Salt Lake City to stay for a night or two and then drive from SLC into Idaho, Wyoming and Montana to see some parks and some animals. There is a larger story to be published that is still only brewing in my head, and it probably won’t get into the specifics of this National Parks trip but it will eventually better explain the timeline of how I met and lost and retrieved Cassidy. And it’s coming. But this isn’t that story and while I may be slightly out of order, this is to be the story I tell today since this is the story that came to me and begged to be published. I don’t actually write, and never have. Rather, stories write me and like a poor sap, I often have to pull over on the side of the road and grab a pen and paper or my cell phone’s notepad function in order to record whatever it is that’s begging to be written here on this blog, or in a birthday card, or in a cover letter, or even in a Facebook status. It can be a very distracting way to live but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Back to the wild west. I’m not much for censoring but this is a public website and if I always told you everything on my mind, well I’d be in trouble with just about everyone I know. So I do keep some details to myself. In this case, I won’t talk much about my ex D himself and the tremendous impact he had on my life and on this particular trip. I don’t feel quite right about it, and when in doubt, I just pretend that I’m super awesome and 3,000 people read this blog. So if I seem vague sometimes or like I’m not telling the whole story, that’s why. He’s a whole story in my life and Cassidy is a whole, yet continuous, story in my life. The most important thing to note is the somewhat ill-timing of this trip. We had starting planning this trip when things were great and happy in our relationship. By the time the trip rolled around, Cassidy had come back into my life like a meteor, exploding everything in his path. (not at his fault) So me and D didn’t know if we should still go on this trip. I was very tormented in those days and didn’t know who to be with. I thought that my choice would ruin my life forever in either direction. It was very dramatic but it was very real. We decided to go on the trip, though.
This story here is not really a story about either of these men but it does overlap to include them both. Wow, am I going to get into this story or what? I actually had no idea that four paragraphs in, this all was going to come out. I foolishly thought that this whole story in all would be maybe three paragraphs. I am so wrong. I’m starting a story that includes two great loves of my life, a powerful prediction that came true, and moose, elk, and bears. I should have known that starting this story would open up all kinds of doors and windows and wounds. And without further ado, I’d like to tell my story.
So this trip. Yeah, it was wild. When we dipped down into those Utah mountains, I knew I was a goner. As much as I LOVE Northampton (a lot), my heart has always ached and always will ache for the west. I’m a sucker for mountains, real ones. Big ones. Oh, and I love my hair and my general well-being in a land that’s never humid. Before I digress again, Salt Lake City in my experience was full of Mexican food, Rocky Mountain chocolate, singing and dancing water fountains in the city square, a wonderful Nordstrom and a really nice public bus system. The road trip through Idaho was filled with really great radio stations (Eric Clapton and Tom Petty), huckleberry milkshakes on the side of the road, and lots and lots of cows. We arrived at the entrance to Yellowstone at dusk and this is where it was haunting in a bad way but also in a really good way. We had to get to the west entrance of the park in Montana but we had to go through one of the park loops to get there. The ride was maybe 50 or 60 miles but since you can’t go above 35 mph in the park, it was well over two hours of heart-pounding insanity. Within a few minutes, a great elk with huge antlers (hey, nice rack!) looked over our car at us, lit only by a fading sun and looking very much like a Japanese anime character. As the night grew completely dark, we slowly wove our way around crazy hills and curves, our headlights catching the glowing eyes of god-knows-what every few seconds. We didn’t dwell too much on what sort of bodies these glowing eyes were attached to. If you think too hard about it, it can really freak you out. We did get there safely and the next day’s morning light revealed everything we didn’t want to see at night: grizzly bears, bison, elk, bighorn sheep, coyotes, mountain goats, mule deer, and bobcats.
We did see moose on the Wyoming side at Grand Teton National Park and that was a whole magic of its own. We also drove out to Big Sky country and met a strange and lovely cast of cowboys and other colorful people. We also spent some time in Jackson, Wyoming – a city that often occupies my thoughts, along with Calistoga, CA. There was a great vibe with lots of little shops to explore, including one called, wait for it…Mangy Moose. So of course, we burst in there like little kids in a candy shop. Actually, Jackson had a candy shop that I also burst into like a little kid. Anyway, the whole point of this story is about to happen. We started looking at moose-themed everything and dwelled the most in the clothing section. At one point, D lifted up these wonderful infant footy pajamas made by Hatley – all red with a zipper and a black moose pattern. You can see them here. As I looked at those pajamas, suddenly there was a loud buzzing sound in my ears and my vision faded a bit. I was dizzy. It was a bit like a movie. I was getting a vision. And that vision was of Cassidy and not D. And Cassidy was holding a baby in these moose pajamas. And that baby was his. And that baby was also mine. And it started to hit me – my life was about to change in a way I was not prepared for, but that’s a story for another day – hopefully soon.
You all know I ended up with Cassidy and you know I have a baby. About a week before Scarlet was conceived, we were on our cross country road trip and we hit Jackson, Wyoming for a few nights. I practically ran to Mangy Moose to get those pajamas. But they weren’t there. I went on their website and they weren’t there either. I sort of forgot about it as there wasn’t a baby yet and I was not aware how soon there would be one.
The night Scarlet was born, my mom gave us those exact pajamas in the hospital room. She had gotten them in Alaska. We use them all the time and in fact, we need to get the next size up soon! (hint, hint: Mom). The other night I put Scarlet in those pajamas and we played a bit as we usually do in our winding down time before her bedtime. Cassidy came in to say goodnight and he was playing adorably with Scarlet, rolling her around and lifting her in the air. I watched them both and I was astounded not only by how amazing it was to see her in those pajamas in his arms, but also how surprised I was that it hadn’t hit me yet even though we’ve had those pajamas for months. I guess marriage and motherhood has thrown so much at me that I hadn’t yet processed this particular bit of awesomeness: my husband holding our baby in those moose pajamas – a prediction I had made so long ago and got to see unfold.