The picture is of August standing outside the Absolut Icebar in Stockholm, a rather cheesy version of my own ice bar fantasy (which takes place in a genuine ice cave rather than a refrigerated room, and we wear furs instead of the synthetic capes they slipped over our heads before we entered). It was our last stop in Stockholm and we toasted our wonderful adventure with vodka sipped from cups made of ice. And then we said goodbye.
When our plane finally landed at Logan airport on Thursday afternoon, it immediately became clear to me that I’d developed a sinus infection. August had been under the weather with an upper respiratory infection at the start of our trip, and inevitably I had contracted it as well, albeit a milder version. I am prone to sinus infections, and flying after an upper respiratory just about guarantees that one will develop. Although never a fan of feeling poorly, I was more than grateful that I was able to put it off until we were back in the states.
I hit the sack early and was up by 4 a.m. on Friday for a trip into Boston for a scan. After that was done, I slipped over to the Ear Nose Throat doctor with the hope that they could squeeze me in. Remarkably, they did; I got my prescription and was on the road again.
By evening it was all catching up with me, and for the past few days I’ve basically been in recuperation mode. However, I have so much to say about our brief sojourn; I really need to get started.
Going to Sweden was only half of what this trip was about. August and I have not spent this much time together in seven years. And I have to say, it was a huge success. We had always had an easy camaraderie, that is, until he hit his teens. Aug starting smoking weed when he was in eighth grade. Lots and lots of weed. And cigarettes, and alcohol. Although a pretty liberal person on most fronts, I’m not a fan and particularly not when it’s a kid (my kid). I wasn’t having it, and tried a variety of (well intentioned) but ultimately unsuccessful tacts. From counseling, to drug testing and yup, I even called the police once. It was bloody hell.
It was August who finally said enough. A month into his senior year of high school, he threw a few things into some boxes and moved to Colorado to live with his father. My heart was broken, but I also had to respect his determination to take another path. Perhaps predictably, within a month he wanted to come back. I said no.
August has really grown up (and I think maybe I have as well). He gave up the cigarettes three years ago; thereby earning that trip to Sweden. He still smokes pot (pretty accessible now in Colorado) but in moderation. Same for the alcohol. And, he’s been able to forgive me for my often misguided attempts to straighten him out. He’s incredibly stubborn (a trait I grudgingly admired) and he had to do things his own way. He also has a big heart, is terribly charming, and can be a ton of fun. Perfect travel partner.
In a few minutes I’ve got to drop Peter at the bus stop and drive to Boston for my scan results. Wish me luck, and I’ll pick this thread up again later.