Not long after Cassidy and I got back together and knew it was serious, he took me to his father’s house in Truro on Cape Cod. It’s a long house in a wooded area on a gravel road that I always think is impossible to find. It has four bedrooms and has recently undergone renovations, but the soul of the house is intact. You walk into that house in July and breathe in the smell of summer vacation. You walk into that house in December and breathe in the smell of summer vacation memories. Summer could be far away but you can’t turn in a corner in the house without being reminded. Pictures and poetry hang all through the house. There is one wall in particular that captivates me every single time I visit the house. It always will.
It is filled, floor to ceiling, with photos of Cassidy and his brothers and cousins from babyhood to adulthood. It tells tales of being buried in the sand, of oreo and peanut butter sandwiches, of beach days and outdoor showers, of corn on the cob and ice cream and finding sand in your shoes long after you have gone back to work or school or winter and whatever other dreaded thing you escaped. You look at these pictures and you see a gift that children have been given. They have been taught to truly know joy and pure fun. Not everyone receives these gifts. The evidence is on the wall. It is written in every expression on every face of every photo. You can’t look at these pictures and not smile. I looked and thought, “I want that.”
I was feeling anxious and vulnerable over the weekend after two of Scarlet’s six grandparents had surgery last week. I couldn’t feel a sturdy and solid ground beneath me. I already feel that life is delicate and precious but I felt like it was slipping through my fingers and I couldn’t grasp it. I do believe everything will be ok right now but it gave me a scare. When I first looked at the photo wall in Truro over four years ago, I thought we had so much time until we’d have children whose photos would hang on the wall. Until the new generation would make our six parents be grandparents, and my parent’s four living parents be great-grandparents. Maybe we still have a lot of time for Scarlet to know them all but it’s never guaranteed.
It all used to be just a thought by a young woman, smitten in love with a guy she was just beginning to truly know. It was just a thought of, “I want that. It might take time but I want that so badly.” And look how far we’ve come to get it.
Now we have this:
And we are so lucky to have this:
I wanted so badly to have a child whose photograph would hang on a wonderful wall in a wonderful house on wonderful Cape Cod.
And here she is.