I've had California on my mind a lot of late. Maybe because it's the holidays and, up until last year, we always went out to see my family in California. But now it's quite impossible for Charlie to take a 6-7 hour transcontinental plane ride: For one thing, he used always to like to curl up at the window seat, but forget about that now, he's approaching 5' 9" with long, long legs and size 11 feet.
Maybe it's because Friday Jim and I met with our lawyer to sign a special needs trust for Charlie and our will. Yes, I am very glad those are signed and done, though now---thoughts ever to the future---I keep thinking about how we are going to have to get Charlie out to California. He being an only child and there not being anyone in New Jersey to look out for him after we are no longer around (yes, big gulp), Charlie will need to be out there when he is older. It will be good for him to be able to get to know my family---my cousins have children who are almost all just a few years older than him--- better before too long.
Or maybe it's because Jim and I figure, live in California and Charlie can bike ride year-round. While it does seem that he and Jim are trying to make bike-riding such a knows-no-weather sport, the reality is that it will snow in New Jersey. (On Sunday, if the weather forecast is accurate.) Jim and Charlie did get in a couple mile bike ride in the early evening, but one is not inclined to go too far in temperatures in the low 30s.
Or maybe it's because I have been reading Erica's blog, The flight of our Hummingbird , about her life in California, about long days and really long nights taking care of her young daughter Izzy, whose struggles seem to go, on, and on. Charlie's have been of a quite different sort, but I know the feeling of hope-drained worry after a child has the same difficulties day after day after day, and nights too.
In Charlie's case those have been SIBs. These seem to be a lot more under control now. Friday after the bike ride, Charlie wanted to get in the car and, as it ensued, go to Jersey City for Vietnamese food. But we had just gone there on Wednesday and offered some local alternatives that Charlie usually likes, but this time he didn't want any of them. He was very distressed and asked a number of times for other things. We went home and Charlie sat for several minutes in the car in the driveway, then came inside on his own. And after going into his room and watching a video or two on his iPad, he was calm and came down and asked to go out again.
It was getting late and Jim talked about driving down to the beach and getting rested up, and Charlie went back upstairs to go to bed.
He does like to sleep in his own bed, drive around to see the usual sights and places. The last time we went to California in 2008, Charlie was not happy most of the time, largely because everything was different and he just wanted to be back home.
We'll go out again someday. And in the meantime, we will be making the most of being here in Jersey, here where we are.
But a little California thinking (about wandering through these bookstores) does not hurt, no?