Changing tides are natural shifts in the waterways caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and the moon on Earth. The moon has a hold and a force on the outcome of these changes unlike any other influence in the world. Tropical storms miles south can even create record high tides much further north, as they doing now. Tides have always fascinated me as the daughter of a true boatsman. The truth is, Kelsey is my moon. Her force is incredibly powerful.
This morning, my curious son wanted to investigate our names and their meanings. We learned that Old English defines Kelsey as “fierce.” That was no surprise because I would say that she is truly a force to be reckoned with. While the cycles of her life are unpredictable, the gravitational attraction she has on me is not.
It is also no coincidence that “Kelsey” is also known as “the ship of victory.” I realized and felt drawn to the strength in her name while we were selecting it but never knew the nautical relation. I find the newly revealed meaning fitting since she controls the tides of my life. As her mother, I feel it is my job to help her find victory. Her triumph is my mission, but her ship is hers to sail.
When the sun is shining and the tide is high, boaters and beach-goers rejoice. The activities they hope to enjoy are easy, fun, and full of water’s depth. Kelsey is just like the highest tide with her strong current and ferocity. She shines so brightly and soars to meet the feet of boaters as boat ramps do when her tide is high. Her small victories trigger sensational highs for me, too. She enjoys life in those moments more than any other child I have ever seen. She literally jumps for joy, and I often find that her exuberance is contagious.
We have been out at parties, picnics, and other social gatherings to hear sentiments such as, “she is the happiest child I have ever seen.” During those times in the past, I can not express how grateful and sad I have felt. “They have absolutely no clue. Can you believe she has had a stroke?” I often think in response, but instead say aloud, “Thank you so much.” Don’t get me wrong, I am always grateful to hear kind words but felt that I withheld a great secret as well.
During the high tides, the mother in me is so proud that she can almost burst. Kelsey is thoughtful, considerate, and never leaves a child out. Her zest for life is difficult to ignore. The difficulty is to imagine that a low tide may be coming or that an eminent threat is on the horizon. When the tide is flowing, the day flows with grace and beauty. Those days and moments are true gifts and I cherish them.
In contrast, when the water ebbs and starts to clear, creatures below become visible, trash emerges in places you would least expect, and the current may just steal you away. Just as her troubling days are delicate to talk about and difficult to live through, when they happen, my tides are excessively low. I am swept away in those moments, when the energy depletes out of my daughter rapidly. Last week, I hit a low that often comes with a weather extreme, a tropical storm, or a rare moon. I was not sure how long it would take for the water to return and the docks of my mind to rise back to a stable place.
My son’s laughter and thirst for knowledge helps me more than he will ever know. I often wonder how he deals with all of this, seeing far more than he can possibly understand. I believe that in his own way he knows when I need him. He knew this week. As we left for Kelsey’s blood work, Murphy’s Law surrounded us. The lab orders were expired, my printer was not functioning, and my anxiety was high. Two hours later, when we finally got in the car, I looked back at him. He wore a camouflage windbreaker (mind you, it was almost 100 degrees), protective goggles, one wool glove, and held a suction cup bow and arrow in hand. He said it was his protective gear, and it was precisely the laugh I needed.
My son’s name means “Remembered by God.” If Kelsey is my moon, my son is truly my gift. He helps my tides stay high and keeps a smile on my face, even in the lowest extreme.
My husband’s words and my parents’ comfort also gave me strength this week in more ways than they know. The positive words and messages from friends near and far were great blessings, too. They all combined to keep me together. As we wait still for the results of blood work and the possibility of imaging to assure that all is well inside those tiny legs and surrounding vessels, I am trying to keep the positive energy afloat.
The waiting place is still a very useless space, but the changing tides keep me smiling. Day by day is our family motto, and happily today, the tide is rolling in rapidly.