Before we left for America on the 1st May I'd updated The Storm In A Tit Cup Facebook page to tell you that I'd be posting loads of stuff while we were away. We then had a traumatic start to the trip which I shall tell you about shortly, then I wrote a bit and fell asleep. Then time flew bye and then Manchester happened and i just didn't feel like talking about myself. It's so trivial compared to what others are enduring. And now London has happened and the atmosphere is so tangible. There is some kind of energy. Something in the air. I can't label it but I feel I could grab it from the sky, which I appreciate makes no sense or sounds strange. I'm not saying we are all running scared because we are British and that's just not how we roll, but there is a real sense of 'something' that is hard to pin point. Is it fear? Rage? Hatred? Or is it defiance? Strength? And the strongest of our emotions, love?
I'm not writing this today to talk about the abhorrent murders that have taken place this year by a group of blood thirsty narcissists. (And yes, I purposely do not use the words 'Muslim Extremists.' They may think they are Muslims...they are not.)
I'm writing this because it's business as usual right? I feel sick for all the people that are hurting from what has happened....including myself. I don't know any of these people personally but these are my people. These are our people. These are British people.
So FUCK YOU!! (Not 'you', you but YOU!)
Lets crack on...
I'm going to tell you about the first day of our trip through 10 American States.
This is the big one.
In terms of 'bucket list' items this is the one that means the most to me. A road trip across America. Keith and I are huge fans of America.
I always thought 'when I've got 8 year olds I'm definitely taking them on an American road trip' but then Cancer came to town and pissed on my 'future-living' chips.
I'm not saying I'll have snuffed it before Noah and Tait turn 8 but just in case we thought it best to stop living in the future and maybe live now?
We are all guilty of 'future-living'....'when I'm 40 I'll go to Vegas', 'I'll fly a plane next year' 'I'll join the WI once the grand kids have started school' etc etc
What if my 'future-living' had been nipple tassels on my right boob'? I'd be screwed now. It's just a big flat floodplain where once a mountain stood. (A saggy mountain to be fair, but a mountain all the same). Hanging a nipple tassel on that now would be more like pin-the-tale-on-the-donkey.
Now wouldn't that make a great hen party game? (I once got two of my friends to drink a shot of my breast milk at their hen parties so this would be borderline normal).
(FYI Apparently I use a lot of brackets when I write stuff)((that's what happens when you know nothing about grammar))
Anyway, my point is, if it's something you want to do, do it now!!!!!!!!! No one slides into the grave congratulating themselves on how repetitive their life was and how they always applied caution to making plans. I think maybe they regret the things they didn't get to do? I guess that's the point of 'the bucket list?' Although the word 'bucket' just makes me think of a big baggy fanny to be honest.
'Bucket list' comes from 'kicking the bucket' which I also don't understand? What's that got to do with death or dying? And now I'm imaging someone with their foot stuck in aforementioned big baggy fanny.
Bloody hell....How my mind wonders.
So, USA. We arrived on 1st May for a month of 'Funishment.'
The journey wasn't as horrendous as I was expecting with a 2.5 year old in tow. He did hurl all over the photo blanket my mates had bought me last year before the tit chop so when we arrived at the Gatwick 'meet n greet' I had to stand in front of cars full of people scraping curdled milk and strawberry laces out of a fleece blanket covered with pictures of my face.
(FYI Gatwick, that horrendous stench in car park 4 was the aroma of a blanket gently marinated in sick slowly simmering in the boot of a black Toyota Prius. Soz.)
So Disney with a 2 and a 4 year old? Yes it's mental.
May is a reasonable time to go as it's not rammed but the weather is great.
As I'm a cancerous chemo muncher I qualified for fast pass tickets for me and the clan which did help a lot.
You present yourselves at guest services and you're able to ask for a fast pass ticket due to a disability. Now folks this has me in conflict a little.
I am apparently 'disabled'. I qualify for a blue badge and for free cinema tickets for my carer and shit, but it's something I have yet to apply for.
Well I'm not ashamed or anything like that. It's just I've never been more able in my life! I've never been more capable. I've never achieved so much as I have over the last 2 years. So I feel a bit weird having those privileges when I don't feel any different. I absolutely don't feel like I need them.
The blue badge thing has drifted through my mind a few times when I've return to my car to pay for parking after chemo and it's another £7 as you can NEVER get a parking spot at the Bristol Oncology Hospital!!! I have chemo every 3 weeks, a pre assessment every 3 weeks, a heart scan every 3 months, an MRI every 3 months, a blood test every 3 weeks....that's a lot of parking money!!!! It adds up. Not to mention the amount of time I have to spend getting to and from appointments just so I can get parked. If I had a blue badge I could just roll up and dump my ride on the double yellows like a boss. But something stops me from filling out the forms. For now anyway.
But this time I thought fuck it!!! I'm getting me a fast pass. Because my mental health is at risk if we get to the front of a 1.5hr queue with a two year old that's just potty trained that needs a piss just before the Buzz Lightyear Ride!!! I can't be dealing with that shittery schizzle.
Anyway, I got the passes and we headed into DisneyWorld.
We decided to spend our first day at the mother ship....The Magic Kingdom. And as you're about to discover, for me, it was anything but Magical.
We entered the land where dreams come true and stepped straight into a nightmare....our son went missing.
After exiting the first ride of the day where Peter Pan had declared 'no one ever grows up here', which basically made me think of Steven Kings IT, we were standing outside in what was a reasonably low crowd and wondering where to go next. Everyone was yabbering away about 'Peter pan' and why the crocodile had swallowed a clock (I explained that she'd probably been up all night with the baby and the last thing she needed was her husbands alarm going off at 6am for the bloody boxing....so she silenced it) and we stood to the side to examine our map and someone asks "where's Noah?".
It wasn't an instant feeling of Vom because we'd been doing this a 100 times all morning...where's Noah...I've got him...where's Tait...in the pushchair you're pushing....where's Noah....oh he's on my shoulders.
But this time I look up and he's just not there. All I see is a swarm of humans exiting 'the princess experience' (not as dodgy as it sounds) flying passed us. I looked behind me and see a shop and think he's probably just gone on the rob so off I go.
He's not in there.
That's when it hits me.....the feeling of dread. And as a police officer my immediate thought is 'TIME PACE DISTANCE'. Now this will sound extreme to you but this is exactly how my mind worked over the next few minutes...
...how much TIME will it take for a peadophile/murderer to walk at a PACE that doesn't attract attention, the DISTANCE to the exit of Disney? I'm just north of the castle which leads back to Main Street and the exit. I would estimate in these crowds that it is no more than 8 minutes. Would Noah be convinced by a 'your mum's waiting in the car park' story...yes probably he's only 4 and very trusting. Will he be scared right now? Don't be silly he's going to be fine. A nice mummy or daddy will bring him to the staff. But what if it's the wrong kind of person that finds him? Oh god I'm going to be sick. What was the last thing I said to him? Shit what was he wearing? Where the fuck is he? I'm going to be the mother to two dead children. I can't have another one taken from me. This is all my fault. I'm a terrible terrible mother....
Now we are all running in different directions around the not-so-Magic Kingdom and every time we see each other we lock eyes in hope that there will be a smile.
We are running around telling all the staff who to be fair are so calm. I've remembered he's wearing a yellow t.shirt and all the yellow I see I start chasing.
It's not him. It's not him.
Now it felt like an hour had passed but in reality it was about 3 minutes. I told the staff it was longer because I know that gets shit moving quicker and it did. The radios start blasting off albeit calmly. Then a staff member tells me to wait where I am as my sister in law is coming over and I look up and see Noah sat on Keith's shoulders looking like nothings happened. Well that's when I go full leak mode. Crying, snot, swearing, I want to vomit again. The Disney lady hugs me and says "oh you poor thing, this happens about a million times a day and we always find them' and I wanted to say 'you don't know the half of it but I will give you my house and the clothes on my back if you don't mind the sweat'. I go over to Noah and I can't let go of him. I almost squash him. "You're squeezing me mummy. Ouch" And I asked "where did you go?" and he simply replies "I was chasing a bubble".
It turns out that when he was stood with us a kid with a Mickey Bubble machine trotted by and Noah ran after her. He was never more than 10 metres away from us but in that crowd....it could have been 10 miles. It was awful. I think we all just assumed that someone else had their eye on him. He evaporated into thin air.
After I'd stopped snotting we got straight on the 'it's a small world after all' boat ride. We travelled around the world listening to the song on repeat and staring at these smiling happy faces and observed the world living in complete harmony alongside each other.
The the irony was not lost on me.
I couldn't calm down. I was crying quietly and staring at all these smug/oblivious plastic expressions. Like nothing had happened. Everything was just fucking wonderful and there was peace everywhere. Life is a song and dance. Yippee.
This was day 1 at Disney and things go massively up hill from here but wow, that first day I felt like a complete failure.
I'd planned this huge trip across America. I'd been planning it since before I'd had cancer, before we lost our little girl, before Tait was born and even before Noah was born. It just took on a shit load more meaning over the last 2 years. I guess in some ways a lot was riding on it and that day I thought about the immense pressure I was putting on everyone to have the best time of their lives because I might be dead next year and we needed more memories. I felt selfish, scared and basically like a let down.
Was I too just chasing a bubble?