The Storm- Before The Quiet- Before The Storm

The Storm- Before The Quiet- Before The Storm

Ransacked Beach

Ransacked Beach

We had come back from a chilly, rainy day at the ransacked beach to find that something was different. The sliding glass doors that open to the hotel room balcony had been taped, not taped shut, but taped with giant asterisks of packing tape.

While you were out we taped your windows

While you were out we taped your windows

The wind had picked up. It had rained daily. (At least it was consistent) Of course we were hoping for better weather. But, since this was supposed to be a business retreat, maybe it was best that it was cool and windy and pouring rain.

Then there was a knock at the door. FYI- I don’t speak much Spanish. I opened the door and was handed two styrofoam “to-go” containers. “Gracias.” I said. It sounded like a question coming out of my mouth.

“Did you order room service?” I hollered to Aaron. He walked out of the bedroom and Leah followed. I held up the containers. We all sat near Lucy and opened them. They each contained a croissant, a box of orange juice, a bottle of water, an apple, a baggy of frosted flakes, a package of jam, a triangle shaped hash brown and a small danish roll. None of the food was hot. Each was wrapped in plastic-wrap.

My children looked at each other and said. “Ew!” I closed up the boxes and went down the hall to see if Emilie’s family and my dad had received the same. They had. FYI- They both speak Spanish. “They are rations, emergency food supply. The storm is becoming a hurricane.” Em explained.

Emergency Rations

Emergency Rations

I returned to my room to batten down the hatches, so to speak. Noticing, as I went, that doorways were now blocked by bags of sand. The same bags of sand we had seen earlier on the ransacked beach. “Stay back waves! Stay back!” but the waves didn’t listen. The waves just washed over those sandbags, laughing and mocking as they rolled.

Sandbags in the Doorways

Sandbags in the Doorways

“Why are those inside?” Leah asked, pointing to the patio furniture that had been on the balcony. Two chairs and a small table were now positioned at the foot of her bed. “I guess they brought them in so they don’t blow around and break the windows.” I suggested.

Those Are Supposed To Be Outside

Those Are Supposed To Be Outside

That night the wind HOWLED. The tops of the palm trees danced HORIZONTALLY against the sky. Lightning LIT UP the room in spite of the blackout curtains. Thunder THREATENED to break the sky in two.

Aaron, Leah, Lucy and I all snuggled together in the king sized bed. Leah slept like a rock, nothing wakes her… nothing. Lucy startled at each sound, her legs pulling up to her chest. I tried pinning her legs between mine. It didn’t help much.

Finally we slept. No windows were broken. No cold hash browns were eaten.
The storm passed quite uneventfully.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THE QUIET ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Before arriving in Cancun, Aaron and I had been using “swimming with dolphins” as bait for Lucy to improve her behavior at school. Lucy took the bait… well, at least she took it just enough that we had to keep our side of the deal. We went to the concierge to make the arrangements. Leah and everyone else had been able to swim with dolphins the year that Lucy and I went on the submarine.

The concierge was soon on the phone, scheduling a van to pick us up the following morning. He covered the receiver and said, “I am sorry, I know this is taking a long time, but… well… asking them to pick up a wheelchair… it’s sort of a… it’s a special request. You understand?” I smiled, “Oh, we understand.” And then I added under my breath, ” You might say our whole life is ‘sort of a special request.’”

The following morning, the van picked us up. Lucy and I would swim with dolphins… rain, or shine, or hurricane.

Lucy Pets the Dolphin

Lucy Pets the Dolphin

Kisses on the Cheek

Kisses on the Cheek

Shaking Hands

Shaking Hands

May I Have This Dance

May I Have This Dance

Happy Girls

Happy Girls

This entry was posted in Crazy Little Thing Called Life and tagged , , , , , , , , by Rachel Coleman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. www.deafchildren.org Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at www.mydeafchild.org. For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on www.SignItASL.com. Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

24 thoughts on “The Storm- Before The Quiet- Before The Storm

  1. Nice rations!! I Dont know how any of you managed to sleep; doubt if I would have. Love the pictures of your Dolphin experience and absolutely adore Lucy’s smile.

  2. Those are some pretty impressive muscles you have in the “dancing with the dolphins” pictures. Hmm, I guess you haven’t been lying about going to the gym after all. 😉

  3. Hurricanes are awful. The day J was born, they kicked us out of the hospital because a hurricane was set to hit. Ever since then, she’s never had a birthday party ON her birthday due to hurricanes. Sigh.

    Lucy’s changing her looks…she’s getting all grown up looking! 🙁 The kissing of the dolphin made me cry. And, the life jacket is the perfect accessory to any bathing suit!

    xoxo

  4. LOVE the pics of you with the dolphins. Sorsha (my daughter, 4.5 years old) asked “what’s the dolphin’s name?, Remember, we swam with Kaleo, is she swimming with Kaleo?” Of course she doesn’t quite get that we were in Hawaii, you were in Mexico and there’s no possibility that its the *same* dolphin! I’m just impressed that she remembers the name of our dolphin from over a year ago 🙂 It’s a memory they’ll keep for a lifetime! SOOO glad the storm passed uneventfully.

  5. Beautiful pictures. I love what you said, that your whole life is a special request. I know that feeling well and sometimes it gets tiresome. But look at all you accomplish! Keep making those “special” requests! The everyday activities are not always so everyday and you will continue to create special memories and inspire us as you do it. And wow, those arms of yours – talk about inspirational – I am so impressed and I love the reason you are doing it! Maybe I’ll actually start going to the gym, LOL.

  6. What an unforgettable “adventure”, something to talk about for years to come! The swim with the dolphins looks like it was the perfect reward for a night of terror! Love the happiness on Lucy’s face. And Mom looks happy, too! Good for all of your for accepting your “special request life” with grace!

  7. Kei: You wonder how we managed to sleep? You? If you know us at all, by now you know we are experts in the area of sleep.

    Sonja: It’s all Wii Fit… LOL – not.

    Hema: I was thrilled that Lucy let the dolphins get so close. She was trying so hard to pet them, but sometimes, especially when excited her muscles contract. I am actually stretching her arm out and holding it, so she can pet the dolphin.

    Kristi: It was an adventure! Dolphins are amazing.

    Heather: Boo for hurricanes. Yes, she is growing up. —not sure if that is a “boo” or a “yay”

    Geneve: It was 2 years in the making. I think she was really ready for it. She let go of all of her fears. -water, animals, people she is not related to.

    gemuetlichkeit: Ah, come on! There was only 1 sunny day. At least no one got a sunburn. I’m on the fence about posting Aruba pictures from the week before. THAT was a vacation!

    Cathy: Next adventure? Hmmm. I better start looking and booking. Thanks for the reminder.

    Jaclyn: You tell Sorsha that Lucy’s dolphin was named Scarlette. The best part? Scarlette had a 4 week old baby! It was so cute, we couldn’t touch the baby, but it followed it’s mother everywhere, just a few feet below.

    Wendy: I love it, “Special requests create special memories!”
    As far as hitting the gym, if you are doing it right, there is no need to be there for more than 1 hour. Do a 40 minute workout and 20 minutes of cardio and get back to life.

    Linda Jan: Getting in the water with the dolphins was a great followup to our Sea World adventure.

    Googsmom: It’s going to take more than a hurricane to ruin our vacation.

  8. So, the question is, now that the dolphins are gone…. What will be the next big Lucy adventure? If she learned to put aside her fears for this one, what will you do next?
    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Wow! What an adventure! I was worried that the dolphins would have left or acted differently due to the storm (or I guess they were captive, huh… hmmm). Amazing pictures. Lucy is sooo lucky to have you guys. And one things for sure, she knows you hold your end of the bargain up.

    So, was the plane ride a good one on the way back? 😉

    Lucy does look so grown up!! What a beautiful girl.

  10. Just wanted to say thank you. I stumbled upon this blog while trying to learn as much as I could about Signing Time. You are an inspiration to me. And I can not thank you enough for creating Signing Time. My daughter is speech delayed. A year of speech therapy did nothing for her. Then we discovered Signing Time. She is mesmerized by the videos. Her signing vocabulary grows everyday, and she is using more spoken words along with her signs. Thank you for helping my daughter find her “voice.”

  11. Rachel,
    I love Cancún, my husband and I went there for our honeymoon almost 11 years ago, then we went back the following year, but I have not been there since then. Cozumel is another great place to go. In the past 4 years I have gone to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, and it has been great!!

  12. Wow! What an adventure! I was worried that the dolphins would have left or acted differently due to the storm (or I guess they were captive, huh… hmmm). Amazing pictures. Lucy is sooo lucky to have you guys. And one things for sure, she knows you hold your end of the bargain up.

    So, was the plane ride a good one on the way back? 😉

    Lucy does look so grown up!! What a beautiful girl.

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