Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Flip Flops and Lemon Drops

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Flip Flops and Lemon Drops

I'm not sure what the deal is lately, but I sagged back into a pretty severe emotional slump. It's strange feeling this way when the weather is so incredibly gorgeous. I will give myself some time to see if this cycle passes before I panic or run to the doctor for happy pills. I'm sleeping, exercising, and eating well, so there is not much else I can do. Looking at the last couple of weeks, I suppose the end of the school year and the major transition we are making are catching up with me. I feel slightly lost. We have no home visits or school for a few weeks, and I actually miss them. Our private physical therapy continues. This week we hit the pool. I believe Erik and I are bored, plain and simple. I find myself isolated here at home these days. Brian is working on his truck in anticipation of buying a little travel trailer, and I hope we can take the comforts of home with us and escape at the same time with our friends.

I am happy to report I have lost nine pounds with the help of Weight Watchers. Sadly, this puts me back to my baseline, before-baby weight, where I should have been this entire time. I have approximately 13 more to go from here and am confident I will be there soon, as I have never really put much effort into actual weight loss. The key is learning to eat like a girl again.

The 22Q13 (Phelan-McDermid syndrome) fundraiser last weekend was a fabulous affair. I found a pair of black capris at Macy's, but the blouse I had in mind never materialized, so I retrieved a little number I had yet to wear in my closet, gritted my teeth, and bared more skin than I usually do. I finished the ensemble with the black platform flip-flops I purchased in Hawaii. I picked my mother up, who looked equally smashing, and we drove to a gorgeous lodge atop the hills for the event. The "Welcome to Holland" poem and some photos of my friend's daughter were posted just inside the door. Seeing this triggered some unexpected emotion in me, and I was relieved to see my mom's eyes were watering and threatening to spill just like mine. Whew. We shook it off and were immediately welcomed by my friend, who gave us the rundown on the layout there, and I felt instantly comfortable. We ventured into a room containing tables of silent auction items, from free hair removal sessions to extravagant gift baskets wrapped in layers of glossy cellophane. I bid on a two-night stay in a cabin in the woods south of town and a dark bottle of cabernet sauvignon.

We spotted baskets of brightly colored flip-flops overflowing onto the dark floor as we made our way further into the lodge, and we were encouraged to select a pair to take home. Tables showcasing the culinary talents of five different local restaurants greeted us, including glossy pastries, fresh fruit, and tightly rolled sushi. Once we dished up, we were very efficiently provided martini glasses containing cloudy, chilled lemon drop cocktails. We headed out to the patio to join milling schools of women relaxing there. We found seats at a metal bistro table in front of a polite trio of young men playing jazz. Tucked discretely in the back corner of the patio were women enjoying pedicures and massages. Bartenders from the local martini bar poured what seemed to be a constant stream of lemon drop cocktails into glasses with sugar dust clinging to the rims.

It was a delightful way to spend a sunny afternoon, even though the two of us never seemed to really forget the reason we were there. The people I have met through our son are wonderful, and I am so very thankful I can call them friends. It was a nice opportunity to share this particular experience with my mother. My friend's little girl has attended Erik's special education class, and Erik is especially fond of stealing her little metal walker. Amazingly, this little girl is only one of approximately 300 people in the entire world with this particular genetic deletion. I had the honor of meeting my friend's sister-in-law, who sat down at our table, and her mother-in-law, who told us she was gearing up to run her very first marathon, the Portland Marathon, in her granddaughter's honor. From heartache comes amazing strength from everyone, including grandmothers. Watching my mother connect with this particular grandmother was wonderful, and it reminded me how difficult our journey has been on my entire extended family and friends. They need support, too. Amazingly, there is a nephew in this family with Williams syndrome as well. He lives in New Zealand and is reportedly doing well, living on his own and attending a technical school there. The updates on his life have provided me a great deal of hope.

We each selected a pair of flip-flops on our way out the door and said our goodbyes. I hugged my friend and made sure her daughter would be attending summer session with Erik. She will be there. After that, we may go different directions, but I am truly thankful for the special connection we will always have.

As we drove home, we both agreed we would attend this event next year.

I better start looking for that blouse.

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Blogger Rosemarie said...

Congratulations on the weight loss!

It seems you and mom made the best of the afternoon and never drifted too far from the underlying reason why you were there.

Thanks for the link to 22Q13. I've learned so much from your journey.

Try to be compassionate to yourself. You deserve it!

Change mixed with isolation can be an invitation to solitude. There the noise of the world is purposely muted giving us permission to reflect and gain strength from an inner peace that no outside source can duplicate.

Praying you find inner peace in this season and meds if you have need them!

5:49 PM  
Blogger Every minute counts.... said...

you always make me laugh about something( happy pills) that's what we called them when I started taking Xanex last year through all of Abi's medical stuff...I still have them around ...just in case I can't pull myself out quickly enough....I think we all go through so many ups and downs...blogging has helped me though( thanks Lisa)At least I feel like I am not alone when I read so many blogs that reflect my feelings.
I am here to listen!

6:56 PM  
Blogger Kim, Grandma to Ava,ws said...

The best part about your evening? You were able to spend it with your wonderful mom! You and she are a great pair. Recent events have driven home the reality that having a parent is a GIFT that should never be taken for granted. Could you give her a hug from me? And toss in a great big one for yourself. You rock, Nancy:)

Love, Kim

7:20 PM  
Blogger Aspen said...

Sounds like such a fabulous day. I love going to those quaint dainty events with my mother too. I am sure you both looked smashing!

Where is the picture?!

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Gua said...

Thanks, Kim. The hug was wonderful! I'm a lucky lady, indeed.


4:55 PM  
Blogger Lisa R said...


Glad you and your Hot Mom had a good time...I bet you all looked great, like Aspen said where are the pictures ;)

7:37 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

"From heartache comes amazing strength from everyone"... how true is that. I think we have all lived it.

I think I'm in that funk too - I can't seem to write much because of it. I probably should be grasping the feelings and writing away but it doesn't work with me.

What a great way to spend the afternoon... It's nice to have that relationship with your mom! :)

8:57 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

If you were only 9 lbs over pre birth weight, that's a huge congrat's on it's own. You can do it, you're one of the most dedicated people I know (or kinda know). :)

Glad you found some smiles out there sweetie. Big hug!

5:04 AM  

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