Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Florida or Bust

I could start this post off by sharing the very wonderful quotes my mom provided me in Florida, totally out of context so that you might assume she is some kind of (endearingly) crazy person, alas I will not do that to her I am saving them for my book.

Ok, just one. 

One night as we were walking the quaint cobblestone streets of St. Augustine, the oldest city in the nation, according to Wikipedia and all of the local cop cars, my mom and Danielle began debating what constituted eating red meat in moderation after a glass of wine. I was generally ignoring them, trying to be the Harriet the Spy of the twenty-teens, snap chatting an out of control wedding after party atop a presumably haunted mansion from the 1920s when I overheard this:

Danielle: "Mom eating red meat once a week is not moderation!"
Mom: "Compared to the general population it is."
Danielle: "No."
Mom: "Oh Danielle, quit chopping off my balls."

I can only assume that she got caught between saying "quit busting my balls" and "quit busting my chops," however, for the benefit of everyone within earshot and now hopefully for you, she got confused. 

Anyways, a week or so ago my family and I went to St. Augustine, Florida. I cannot disclose the exact reason for the trip, however, since I know you are much more interested in how we slept with our 22 month old in the same small rental boat berth and how I avoided Zika, I will start there. 

Actually Zika is not a current concern in Northern Florida and the wind also happened to be blowing about 20 knots everyday so not much of anything was flying around, except, of course, for my Monica-from-the-Barbados-episode of-Friends style hair. 

One night Scott looked over at me romantically and said "I love how stringy your hair is in the wind." It doesn't exactly ring romantically in your ears, but I knew he meant that way so I reveled in it anyways as we explored that ancient city with our toddler and baby on the way. 

Knowing our lives are about to drastically change makes me appreciate the tiny details before it does.
-The three of us sleeping in the same room;
-The pack and play crammed between the end of the bed and the bathroom so I had to do a pommel horse routine over Scott in the dark just to get to it. 
-The way I could hear Avalon and Scott breathing while I read in the dark and the air conditioning hummed.

We played silly games at night as a family. One was Scategories without the category cards because they got left at home, so we made them up ourselves. One category created was WAYS TO HURT YOUR FAMILY which sounds depressing from the start, but for 'B' I wrote: Bang Them Into a Spikey Wall and Andy wrote: Bitch-Slap Them. He is fitting into this family perfectly. It was pleasantly obvious on his first, official family trip.

On our second to last day, Avalon woke up to the sound of our rental boat leaving the dock. She asked for me immediately. "Mamma! Mommy-Ma!" It always makes my heart flutter. That's part narcissism, part real love, I figure. I want to always remember the way she fit perfectly into the nook of my neck.

She got seasick after eating a banana an hour later, then fell asleep on my chest as the wind cranked through the bridge at 15 knots and we hid under a wool blanket. My new neighborhood chiropractor said to avoid bending over as much as possible, but as I sat there for nearly two hours I could only picture my spine making the precise shape of the letter 'C', with Avalon and baby Skip cupped in the center of it. I fantasized about this oblong pillow on our bed below deck being tucked carefully under my lower lumbar, but I knew some day I'd fantasize about this moment instead. The weight of two babies on me and the way in which the word mother subtly began to describe so much of who I am; how I wanted to own that word more than anything else before and maybe again.

This trip felt like a real vacation and also like a "Babymoon" for Avalon and I. My mom, dad, sisters, Andy and Scott gave me plenty of alone time without her to read a whole book and get a moderately noticeable tan, but Avalon was also extra clingy in a new setting. I'll cherish those memories most of all.


  1. Lovely Devon, that sounds like a wonderful trip. And enough time to read a whole book! I am still waiting for that to happen. CJ xx

  2. Your mom is a legend. I love these stories and would love to hear more. Your relationship with your family is so special! Your mom sounds so fun!

  3. Awww I live in St. Augustine. I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it! It's truly amazing. As always, love reading your words.


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