“You must have things a very certain way.” I stared back blankly. She tried again, “You need things to be dit-dit-dit” pantomiming checking off a To Do list. Actually I am Type B, but I wasn’t going to tell her that, this medium at an angel store in Salem, MA. I was just here for fun. “I will put that in my back pocket for future enlightenment” I respond. “Please do” she continues “I also feel these past five or so years have been hard on you to teach you a lesson.” Now I was listening. “The lesson is to go with the flow.” (She also wanted me to pass on a message to parents with autistic children. Please see the below footnote if this resonates.)
So I self reflected like I always do at the turn of a new year and got it. When M and I found out we would be having a baby boy for our first child I just could not believe it because I was supposed to be having a girl. Two actually, and they would be towheaded, and two years apart, and we would all go to Nantucket. A lot. With our freckles and windblown, hair. You know, like on my life’s To Do list. Yet this was not my life.
Or the time I brought my sister over to see my Life’s To Do List house we were building and what was this? The blue on the kitchen cabinets did not look reminiscent of Maine coastal rocks but CRAYON blue. And oh-my-God, the soapstone counter tops were not gray but green? I literally stopped breathing and didn’t even know it until I joined my sister in the next room to answer a question and could not because I was about to faint.
I started to see where this angel wisdom might help me. We planned a family trip to Camden, ME over Christmas break. A perfect one at a harbor side cottage where we could ski Camden’s recently expanded Snow Bowl and explore the quaint downtown thereafter. Like in “Learning to Ski with Mr. McGee” where he takes his little dog Dee out for an adventure and their is the beautiful harbor view, all the while skiing on the pristine Maine mountain. Maybe WE would see a moose too. It was not a huge mountain but perfect for boys our children’s ages. It would be lovely. A New England native’s delight with clam chowder, enamel ware and lobster motif things to buy. Dit-dit-dit. There I go again.
There was no snow at the Snow Bowl when we arrived and they weren’t even open. Ugh, now what. Wait, I got this – we go with the flow. So I throw out my weekend expectations and enjoy.
We started a hike up Mt. Battie in the Camden Hills State Park for that stunning view at the top and hopefully a family photo to go with it. It was fun until the boys got bored, and whiney, and tired. And when we were not that far from the peak for our family photo they literally laid down on the trail and did not want to go anywhere but back down. So we did. With the whole cold afternoon stretching ahead we didn’t worry, just explored. A drive through Lincolnville and now the rest of Camden. Won’t you just look at that, a sign for the Mt. Battie view. Ha-ha! Looks like we went in the wrong entrance. Oh well.
Our firstborn’s birthday was the next day and there were two toy stores in town, one perfect and one so-so. After our 8 year old selected his new toy and we exited the store we noticed it was the so-so store. Oops, just go with the flow, was K happy with his toy? Indeed. That’s what was important.
Lunch was at a quinticential New England harbor restaurant where our birthday boy could have his favorite clam chowder. For the first time we excitedly tried fried lobster and you know what? It wasn’t that great, nor was their clam chowder but the birthday boy didn’t care so we were content.
Lunch in Bar Harbor
Acadia National Park
The following morning we drove to Bar Harbor to see Acadia National Park even though most of it was closed. It was a long drive but we stayed present and enjoyed the ocean view. We had never been this far north in Maine and the newness of the topography was a bit like taking a class. Was that a moor? Weren’t those only in England? Oh Look, ‘Robin’s Consignment Store’ and ‘Mark’s Parts’. Check out this new gorgeous bridge, another Zakim!
Bar Harbor was dead quiet and cold with no people anywhere which actually made it interesting, so not how I expected to ever see it. And Acadia? Brown and windswept, no wildlife anywhere which is why we had it ALL TO OURSELVES. We hiked a trail, ran on a beach, and poked through a fishermen’s town. We took all the authentic Acadianess in as there was not a thing else to distract us (or look at.) It was fun sliding down ice covered boulders and playing with 5 foot icicles.
The next morning it was clean up and head out time and while packing up I noticed a carefully placed gold star made from Bendaroos resting upright on the boys’ dresser. I knew that star. When we stopped in Freeport for dinner on the way up the waitress handed out Bendaroos with the children’s menus. When the wiggles kicked in and the food still didn’t arrive I whipped up a Bendaroo surprise for each of us. I held them in my hand making them guess what each one was. When they couldn’t guess anymore I handed the object to them with a phrase.
“This is a red heart for Z because he is such a love. A yellow lightening bolt for dad because he is a bolt of ingenuity. K this one is for you because you are this to me.”
“A gold star?” K gasped. “Because I am equally good at math and reading” he exclaimed. “Oh yeah!” said Z both of their eyes sparkling.
I nodded enthusiastically at the unexpected cuteness of how much the boys took interest in this. I noticed K tucked them all in his coat pocket before we left the restaurant but assumed like me, he had forgotten about them. So to see it seemingly proudly displayed while packing up caught me off guard. It was one of those mommy moments you treasure deeply and eternally and grow confident within yourself for being a good mom to a golden star. All so unexpectedly, with no trace of dit-dit-dit.
Cheers and Enjoy,
* “Autism is not what we think. These children come from a loving and true place and cannot understand the turmoil/karmic debt that their parents struggle with here. They shut down around the stress as their parents are working out their residual karma. If parents stay calm and clear their chakras these children will in turn start to recognize the energy around them to be more like the energy from where they are from and be able to be more present and interactive.”