My daughters continue to bronze nicely from their time in the summer sun. As I mentioned last month, our family is doing the stay-cation thing this summer. After Sylvie’s two trips to the hospital this last year, we decided to stay close to home. Partly we were so fatigued we couldn’t imagine packing for a summer get away, but also we worried about Sylvie’s health and want to be close to our medical home. Lucky for us, Vermont is gorgeous and daily I feel grateful to be living here. No doubt the physical beauty and the sunny summer weather have made our stay-cation a little easier. Nevertheless, when I saw Andy Singer’s cartoon, I sighed relief that indeed: “Sometimes the most radical thing you can do is stay where you are.” It’s not just the physical state of staying in the beautiful geographic area where we live that is provocative. It’s also the idea that we don’t need to be running around to get experiences that are fulfilling. Often those meaningful encounters and quiet moments are right in my backyard. They don’t have to cost a lot of money with lots of bells and whistles. For our family, inducing giggles, playing with friends, camping at the local parks, and hanging out is the best thing we can do. Learning to settle for what we have instead of pining for what is not is indeed a good lesson to learn.
One of the other advantages of sticking close to home is being able to do some much needed house projects and continuing to improve our house’s accessibility so Sylvie and her care providers can get around easier. Never did we imagine that our family would be the centerfold of this month’s Vermont Kids magazine addressing issues of accessibility. The photo is from a local photographer who hangs out a lot with musicians and skate boarders, so the photo of our family bears some resemblance of a cool album cover of a local indie band. But the photo is also a testament of the satisfaction of staying in one place long enough to actually make the space our own so that Sylvie can get in and out with ease. It’s also a great chance for us to be part of the community social services and raise awareness of the needs and support that exist here in Burlington. At the end of this month, we’re walking in Zoe’s Race 5K to raise more funds so that other families like ours can also get home improvement projects for their special needs kids. For me, that is yet another good reason to have a Vermont stay-cation!
Kirsten is the mom of two lovely 6 years who will soon start first grade. She also works as a professor at the State University of New York in Communication Studies. She thanks Andy Singer for permission of posting his cartoon and thanks to Matthew Thorson for taking nice pics of the family.
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