For my birthday and the holiday long weekend we packed up our van (with broken A/C) and headed south (well, south from here) to visit my parents. The kids were super excited to visit MeeMee and Pops at ‘Camp Lazenby’, and we were all looking forward to some sunshine and relaxing time. The weather cooperated and it was HOT HOT HOT, allowing us to spend time canoeing and even swimming in the river (although it was a bit more like polar dipping!)
As everyone suntanned, scootered and swam, I had a hard time staying in the moment, mentally. My dad was diagnosed with Kennedy’s Disease a few years ago (genetic, degenerative neurological condition similar to ALS) and I have always been able to ‘deal’ with it from a slightly removed, scientific perspective. My sister and I are carriers and even travelled to Maryland this winter to participate in a medical study (more on that another time). However, my dad’s condition and symptoms have worsened rapidly over the last few months and the reality that Super Pops struggles to go up the stairs or put on shoes is really hard to take.
This trip was really special for me because I was able to watch him interact with the kids with little difficulty. The next time we visit he may not be so mobile. I know the kids see him now as I have always seen him, as Super Man. Everything about him, from his huge curly head of hair, to his over the top campfire stories (with costumes, props and cherry bombs in the fire), his elaborate meal planning, and his pockets filled with an endless supply of candy….everything is BIG, NEW, SHINY, and EXCITING. Growing up with what felt like a circus ringmaster for a dad wasn’t always easy, or fully appreciated, but it sure has given me a set of memories that rivals the Guinness Book of World Records… and will likely land me a book deal someday soon! I want to make sure my kids appreciate how lucky they are and make every memory count. I guess I turned out kind of like my dad in the end…every moment counts, so make it memorable…but usually I leave out the glitter and balloons. 🙂
For now, let this post just be an ode to a great trip (we even got to spend time with one of MY grandmothers, so watching the kids with their great-grandmother Nan was awesome)…..