As I drove home from a party on icy roads tonight, it became hard to imagine that I was sweating in the hot sun only three days ago. I’m ok being back. Honestly, I’m so ecstatic to be in Northampton that the massive snowbanks, black ice, and gloomy skies haven’t bothered me at all. Usually I reach my breaking point by January. This winter, I’m not even there yet. I’m totally ok with this frigid air and lack of sun, day after day. Somehow I’ve found myself living in the present more lately. I wake up each morning delighted to see Cassidy and Scarlet and figure out the rest of the day. There’s seriously some crack in my cornflakes or something. I don’t even need coffee.
But being in Florida was a rare treat. Before dawn on our second morning there, Scarlet woke up at 5:20 am. I could have tried to lull her back to sleep but she was wired as if jet-lagged. She decided she wanted to run around our apartment yelling, “Ahhhhh!” So I decided not to fight it. We weren’t in a Winter Wonderland anymore. Our options were endless. But I didn’t have the car keys and I didn’t know where the car was so we decided to explore the grounds we were staying on. It was a lush, humid morning and I let my imagination tell me that there were alligators around every bend, ready to eat Scarlet. That’s neurotic parenting for you. We found a breezy lake and decided to stick around and watch the sun rise.
Scarlet was delighted to see ducks (Babas) fly down into the lake and then swim right up to our feet. They were so close, I couldn’t even take pictures because I was too busy making sure they were friendly ducks. She had never seen them so close.
People often comment to me how well behaved Scarlet is in restaurants and at other places. And it’s true…mostly as long as she’s being placated with food. It’s never too early in the morning for freeze dried fruit.
Mostly though, food was forgotten. We sat side by side not saying a word. We just breathed and watched the show unfold.
There was a lot of sadness going down around us in general. We weren’t staying at what I consider a healthy and thriving place. I was homesick. But outside at the lake, just the two of us at dawn, I was happy. She’s always happy, but I was too.
“Yes, Scarlet. Ducks have eyes too!”
Later that day, Grandma took us to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in Delray Beach. There we enjoyed the warmth and saw even more up close wildlife. In this case, Scarlet was placated with Froot Loops and cheese for the whole time. And yes, I gave my kid food coloring. And yes, it does make an appearance later on. Sue me.
I’m not sure how she could focus on froot loops when these birds (no food coloring added!) were inches from us.
We also saw some fish and gators!
One of the benches in the refuge was dedicated to a pretty cool guy:
We did have a lot of fun. She just likes to chill out in happy, warm places. Can’t blame her there.
As you can see, the warm weather also agrees with her scar. Her skin looked so great. Winter makes it appear darker, as the doctor told us it would. It’s nice to get away from that.
An ex of mine, who I recently badmouthed, said something pretty cool to my mom once. He said that the sun rises and sets every day and that it’s both free and a beautiful show to see, day after day after day. And how that is a miracle in itself.
Happy to be home, but missing the warm. Luckily, it’ll come here soon.