On Saturday I pulled into the drive way of my old house, rang the door bell, and could hear Nylan running down the hall. He peered out the window, his face lit up, he gave me a little wave, and opened the door. “Hi Nans” I said, he quickly threw his arms around me and hugged me as tightly as his little arms could. “I got up early Nannie, I’ve been waiting for you to come today.” I’ve been waiting too I said. I patted Mystra’s head, that old girl is still going strong, Freckles was scared at first, one sniff of my hand sent her clinging to my side. Nylan patted Freckles head and said “Freckles its just Nannie, it’s ok.”
Nylan quickly got dressed. I exchanged a few words with the ex husband and soon Nylan and I were off. Off to a day of adventure. Destination number one was Crystal Cave. When I was married I always wanted to take Nylan to the cave, yet I never did. Time slipped away from me, work got in the way, and Crystal Cave fell to the bottom of my to-dos. Saturday it was a priority. On the drive there Nylan was telling me all about school, his friends, the dogs, renters in his basement, and that he had surgery. Man, he talked a mile a minute. As we drove along 94 he read most of the billboards and freeway signs. As we turned on to the country road leading to the cave I realized that Nylan is no longer the chubby cheeked boy I fell in love with, he is now a smart courageous 8-year-old boy.
As we pulled into the parking lot Nylan whispered, “I’m scared. There might be bats in there and it might be dark down there.” In an attempt to quench his fears I told Nylan that they have lights in the cave and that the bats don’t come around the people. Those words calmed him down and he was ready to take on the cave. Nylan was scared at first and uncertain of the cave. A few random bats flew above our heads as we walked around. Our guide led us through the tunnels and pointed out formations in the rocks. Half way through Nylan was no longer clinging to my side, he was up front walking with the guide. Nylan’s thirst for adventure is still there and he was loving the cave. The final stop on the cave tour is the wish room. In this room the rocks are sticky and you can place a penny on the wall. Its kind of like a wishing well of sorts. Nylan walked around the room looking for the perfect spot.
As I was standing in this room, looking up at the walls covered in thousands of pennies it hit me. It hit me that 22 years ago I was standing in the exact same room looking for the perfect spot to stick my penny. Nylan’s penny would be joining my penny and the thousands of other wishes. I have no idea what I wished for that day nor do I remember where the heck I stuck my penny. Taking Nylan to the cave brought back so many memories for me and I am glad that he loved the cave as much as I did when I was his age.
Saturday reminded me that love knows no bounds and that one simple smile can erase the heart ache. That two years was more like two minutes and that no matter the length of time, nothing can destroy the bond I have with Nylan. Nylan will always be one of my greatest joys and my first child from another mother. It taught me that we all have choices in this world. I could have chosen the clean slate and walked away from motherhood. My divorce was my do over, it wiped my slate clean, and made me a singleton again. Yet I wasn’t willing to throw five years of raising Nylan away. Instead I took my do over card, held on to my step mother title, and on one Saturday a month I will be out on the town with Nylan.