I was brushing Micah’s hair on the morning of School Photo Day, trying my best to create a less “mad scientist” look for him when he turned to me and said, “you know, you love my creativity so I don’t think you should be brushing my hair, Mommy.”
“Yeah, my hair is attached to my hair follicles and those are attached to the creativity in my brain, so when you brush my hair, some of my creativity is lost with the hair coming out and some of it is all swished around and gets disorganized inside my head.”
Meanwhile, his Daddy grabbed a shoe and killed a mouse with it – it may as well have been a cockroach. I mean, sheeeeeeeesh.
Mack adopted a large stuffed chicken while I was gone on my Momcation. I guess he needed something large, soft and squawwcking to drag around and replace Mama? He calls is Bawk-Bawk and it has to go with him everywhere, or else we all face the Wrath of Mack.
Our freezer is full of deer and wild boar that WE KILLED. The kids look up at trees to see what they offer and the bear meat we ate last night was sauteed with kale and basil from the garden.
Real life, when you remove the grocery store packaging and distance from point of origin, is full of such brutality.
And is so breathtakingly beautiful.
In the next few months, I know we’ll have some fabulous adventures – it is what we do best, after all. But we will miss our backyard.
We were actually originally planning on leaving at the end of October. We delayed it first because of Halloween, then because of my Momcation. Then for the last time because of School Picture Day. We really wanted the kids to be a part of that and to be able to see themselves in the school yearbook when they are adults and pissed off because we dragged them around so much – we’ll point to the yearbook photos and be all, “what are you talking about?! you are RIGHT HERE!”
The extra benefit to delaying our departure by a week was once last Horse Therapy session for Moxie.
I haven’t updated you much on how that’s been, but basically, in a nutshell,
You know how half-assed and on the fence I am about all therapy for Moxie, right? I mean, I am NOT “Flashcard Mom”, I am NOT about “the more therapy, the better” or buying into everything that every therapist says.
That was the first thing Moxie taught me by having diffuse fetal hydrops and heart holes while she was growing inside me, and when the doctors were telling me I should abort her because she’d have no chance of being born alive. She taught me that THEY ARE OFTEN WRONG.
Like, REALLY, really, completely WRONG.
So back to horse therapy.
I am on the fence about therapy, I’m very cautious about dipping my proverbial toe in it’s waters. Horse Therapy though, which is the practice of engaging Moxie in therapy while riding a horse, has been far and away, leaps and bounds, better than anything that we have done with her to date.
It is astonishing to see how she is pre- and post- session. Pre session, she does not talk. Post session, she does.
Jennifer Belkin said once that therapy is like a bra, it’s not once size fits all. Besides sizes, some people need running bras, others need wire support or nursing, etc. It’s a great analogy and I think for Moxie, it’s true that horse therapy is IT for her – it works, it’s her size, it’s her fit. It might not be the case for all kids with Down syndrome, but it certainly is for her.
Mack loves the horses and usually is allowed to ride for a little bit at the end of one of Moxie’s sessions. He didn’t for this last one, preferring instead to just play with the goats, rabbits, swings and toys.
Not a bad life for a kid.
We’re leaving today.
Our hearts stay here on the Lost Coast and we’ll put on our adventuresome caps (or pants, or shoes or whatever you want to call it) and head on south.
Maybe we’ll see you there.
Meriah Nichols is a counselor. Solo mom to 3 (one with Down syndrome, one on the spectrum). Deaf, and neurodiverse herself, she’s a gardening nerd who loves cats, Star Trek, and takes her coffee hot and black.