Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FAMILY VACATION (07/30/15)
TITLE: Cruising with Josie
By Judy Sauer
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The effervescent excitement in me is bubbling over. I can hardly contain myself because I get to spend an entire week with my 16 month old granddaughter, Josie Mae. She lives an arduous 11 hours by car ride away in Nebraska but for this one week she is a mere four staterooms away on our cruise. Also along for the cruise are my husband, daughter, and son-in-law. For me, the highlight is being with Josie Mae.
After getting settled into our stateroom there is a knock on the door. There she is, my little Miss America. Dressed for cuteness, Josie is decked out in pink, green, and white horizontal striped leggings which has an adorable ruffle. Her coordinating top of bright polka dots in the same color scheme is embellished with a large embroidered butterfly in the center of her shirt. There are fabric wings added for dimension.
At 16 months old, Josie doesn’t have much hair yet however my daughter manages to pull up what hair Josie does have into two tiny pig tails on the top of her chubby cheeked head. They look like trumpet flairs and definitely make her cuteness all that much more adorable. Her purple heart shaped bedazzled sunglasses adds a wow factor to her ensemble. Yep, she’s my precious granddaughter who puts a smile on anyone’s face who sees her.
She is fearless in the pool because of her amusing floatation device. It looks like water wings but it is so much more. This is a one piece unit that Josie places her arms into the arm holes then the harness-like water-wonder is snapped together at her back. Where a bodice would be positioned on a dress, there sits a cushioned floating design with a funny monkey face on its front. With one of her many bathing suits on - today is a red, pink, and white stripes two piece suit with a little red skirting at the waistband on her bottoms– her baby tummy and chubby legs are fascinating to watch as she marches through hip high water. She walks with a command of the pool and looks confident in her strides. Doing this has given her the courage to walk on real land surfaces.
In the elegant formal dining room, Josie appears wearing a black and white dress. The bodice is black and white scroll fabric with a black knit skirt that ends with a large ruffle. With her fancy black toddler shoes on and a black bow in her pigtails, she looks so grown up. She loves fruit and tonight, like every night on the cruise, Josie starts with a fresh fruit cup. She savors every piece. At dessert time, Josie Mae found a new food passion: lime sherbet. The look in her innocent eyes is full of wonderment at the yummy texture and coldness of the sherbet has my daughter making a mental note to get some at home.
During one excursion, in Turks and Caicos, Josie climbed into Grandpa’s lap to get snuggles. With a soft, endearing voice, she says “Papa”. This melts my heart like liquid butter on a hot Caribbean summer day.
The week is running out of time and I’m not ready to let go of my baby girl. Anxieties are rising causing me to nit-pick on the littlest things as sadness starts to overshadow my extreme happiness. My daughter tells me “it’s not like we’re dying so you can stop crying.” Empathy was never one of my daughter’s strengths, at least when it comes to me.
I’m quite the mess to see when saying goodbye. My red swollen eyes, a runny raw nose, plus tissues galore stuffed into my small hands cannot hide my heartache. Gone is the effervescent enthusiasm from a week earlier. Reality is painfully kicking in my front teeth. It upsets me to know I won’t get to see her anytime in the near future.
After we part ways, I lean into my husband's comforting arms and ask him to think about going to Nebraska for Thanksgiving. This gives me hope especially with the stores already decorating for Halloween.
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