I stared at the photo in front of me. The smiling faces captivating me, flooding me with thought. I imagined the echoing sound of the water fall behind them cascading down. The cool water slapping hard against the steep rocky incline as it wildly falls against it. Its cool spray reducing the feel of the rising July temperatures. I knew this place where they stood. I had frequented it before with my own eldest child. I smiled almost able to smell the wet earth as I recalled a few of my own memories. This was a place I had at one time visited also with my two youngest sons . A place we ventured out as a family. A time in their lives when they could freely walk along. Occasionally stopping to skip stones across the flowing water. Slowly at this moment now, I somehow began to sense another feeling grasping at me. A yearning calling me. I was happy for my friend with the day she was obviously sharing with two of her children. But I also felt saddened that this was something I had learnt to accept was now in our past. That walking along the banks of that very same stream, had become just a wonderful sweet precious memory for us. A little disturbed that I had let this photo pull me down, I decided to scan a few other photos that other friends had openly displayed on line. Why I wondered was it, moments like this that left me hoping, and wanting to have just a bit more of something. I had undoubtedly created a world that was full of adventure for my boys. But it did not come with out great sacrifice. To pull it it all together it also took compromising, careful planning and much recruiting of outside help for them. I tried to imagine what it might be like to wake up and at the spur of the moment take off with my sons on a days outing. What it might feel like to not have to worry about steps and bathroom accommodations. What it might be like to not have to rely on a helping hand, and chairs with wheels. To have one time where I did not have to worry about accessibility.
I hated the the feeling that was now attempting to creep inside me. I felt even a bit disgusted knowing what it was. Yes, I knew, deep down inside. Masked by a bit of anxiety, it was envy. I envied what I imagined how my friends Fourth of July was being spent. A day spent walking with her teenage daughters, laughing while they hiked along together. Dipping their toes in the cool water. While they spent endless hours enjoying the outdoors, I spent hours inside getting my two sons up and out of bed. Dressing them and feeding them. Finding activities to keep them engaged just so I could hop in the shower and get dressed myself. Actually it wasn't even the fact it was a Holiday and that I had no accessible plans for us, it was simply the fact that like very other day if I didn't go the distance with preparations" it" didn't happen. With out " It" - it meant my boys would be sitting bound to a chair settling for a life of watching the world go by rather than living it.
I went back to the photo after my search to see what else was happening in the online world. We had been invited to view fireworks from a friends apartment. Her offer was tempting but Cody's miner upset stomach had left me feeling uneasy about leaving home, along with the anxiety of transporting them alone late at night. So for this night the best that I could offer was ourselves at home and enjoying time alone together. Time spent with just me and my two younger sons, in our comfortable accessible environment. Engaged in activities that could be enjoyed from a wheelchair.
Not to long ago someone said to me when you peek over the fence the grass always looks greener. Yep we have all heard it. Well I do not want my friends grass. I do not even care is she has a garden. Actually I find grass a burden in my life, the less of it would be better. A paved path would suit me and my two younger sons much better. Because then the terrain would be just be a bit easier for our wheelchairs to travel over. Josiah would have loved to view fireworks on a live location, such a small request. But he has, with out complaint, settled to watch them on his ipad- due to our current minor difficulties. Because of great guilt on my failure to not strategically plan ahead, I have in return promised him we would watch the State Fairs fireworks live at the MN Fair.
I don't know if my friend watched any Fourth of July fireworks from the beautiful location she was at earlier. I imagined she no doubt had a wonderful afternoon planned outdoors with family and friends. But at the risk of being human, it was just a moments yearning to want just a bit more, as selfish as that might sound to some- with out all the hurdles, searching, planning and laboring help for it.