It’s strange because there really wasn’t anything in particular that happened to bring us to this. We guided her over rocks, we helped calm her emotions, we pointed out little things carefully so she could see them. All of that has become second nature. There were no out of the ordinary outbursts or meltdowns…it was pretty much business-as-usual. So I don’t know why this particular day was the dark one, but it was, and Dave and I both knew it without even talking about it.
I don’t want to dwell on that sad thing, and really, I don’t think I need to write this down to remember it. But I don’t want to gloss over it either. I don’t want these pictures telling the rest of the story to just sit glowing out of the computer screen pretending like nothing happened to change our hearts this day.
It’s interesting how pictures can do that. That’s the crazy thing about social media.
So I’m throwing it out there as part of the story. Maybe writing about it will help me define it better.
Here are some snippets from my journal this day:
in the middle of the ocean…just finished playing “Lucky Unders” with Lucy at a little fold-out
table. The smell of gas is so powerful it’s making my stomach churn. Lucy is
somehow unaffected by this. The rest of our family is sitting on a makeshift
little rubber boat out in the open air on the back deck sick as dogs with
motion sickness, but there’s something about the motion mixed with the intense
gas smell that’s getting them. The sun is just starting to filter through the
clouds after a thick, heavy gray when we took off an hour ago.
We are in the Galápagos Islands. Between San
Cristobal, the island where were staying with the stinky sea lions in a cute
little town that can boast authenticity but definitely not good food, and a
little uninhabited island called Española which is our destination today. As our companions on this boat there are two
guys from Ohio, a guy from the country of Columbia, a lady from Ecuador and two
ladies from Romania (yes, Romania!). They
are all kind and good and make me want to learn all I can from them…as soon as my stomach stops churning 🙂
Our first stop was to snorkel. Lucy was pretty adamant that she did NOT want to do that thing, but I felt pretty good about pushing this one. She fought the wetsuit but we somehow lured her in it, and a life jacket too, and she came to grips that this was happening. She’s so lucky to have sweet sisters who distract and make things exciting for her:
After a good bout of complaining she got in and at least put her head under water to see if she could see the giant turtle right in front of us.
She couldn’t see it, and didn’t have the coordination to hold the breathing tube in her mouth (it’s so easy to take stuff like that for granted…seems like it should come as second nature but to some people it doesn’t), and she did NOT want that mask strap around her head (sensory). But once in the water her body relaxed and she smiled just to be hanging out there, floating along with us, which made us smile too. Sometimes it feels so overwhelming to know how much to push, but I was so happy that I pushed this one…that she would be part of the fiber of that family memory, bobbing on the salty sea into little caves with her family, being pushed gently by her dad since she refused to wear fins and couldn’t keep up.
She was glowing that she did that thing, and so were we.
We were greeted by a bunch of these guys when we set foot on the little island:
And he was right. It did get worse. Something I never would have given a thought if it weren’t for Lucy. It is so easy to take movement and walking for granted. So she and Dave turned back (he wasn’t overly interested in the bird watching so he was ok), and we went on, through lots more fascinating marine iguanas and birds.
(Elle took lots of film photos…can’t wait to see how they turned out.)
I loved the different colors on this mountain-side:
…and these “blow holes.”
…back past the iguanas once more…who were very good posers:
Sorry I got a little carried away but look at that beauty!
(Lots more about Galapagos marine iguanas HERE.)
Back to our favorite pizza place one more time (I think this was the fifth day of pizza…but honestly so few options), and cold showers and Rumikub plus stuff like this back at the hotel:
We went to bed with such full hearts…so much gratitude to be in that amazing place with people we love so much. But there was some heaviness accompanying that fulness… mulling all the feelings and thoughts over from the day. I want so much for Lucy to be a part of all that we do, which means we need to find a new kind of balance. This was a tough thing to swallow…and I still don’t really know what it means, but it rested heavy on my heart for the rest of the day…and the rest of the trip too. And even now, sitting in my kitchen back at home, it pricks tears behind my eyelids.
We all have them: these twists and turns in the road of life. I don’t think anyone is immune. They come in all different shapes, sizes and varieties. It’s not so much what they are but what we do with them that matters. We’re all on a grand journey to figure them all out.
…and hopefully we remember to ask for help and guidance from above to make sense of things in the process as we find our way.