The day started bright and early as we made a trip to Oxford. But…. Before I share more about that, let’s talk about fairy tales!
Yesterday, a friend mentioned that our lives sound like a fairytale (it was a kind remark she was making, but it got me thinking that I should share more on this subject.) We all know fairytales aren’t real. However, I have learned that fairytale moments do actually exist. They can be discovered if we look for them closely. They are enchanting moments that are mixed into this crazy busy hard life- they are both extraordinary and simplistic. Both are delightful, but my favorite are the simple ones. They seem to be tucked in just the perfect places. I see these moments as gifts from God. As reminders that His fingerprints are all over this journey we call life. This truth keeps me focused on what is pure and lovely and of a good report even when pain or hardship is very real before me. I believe that is what makes these fairytale moments even more precious, I hope you will too.
Back to our trip to Oxford…
Danny boy had a difficult night sleeping because of leg cramps. Throughout the night I stayed up rubbing his legs and giving him Motrin to help. My Joe was helping as well. Joe is always helpful as I care for Danny Boy. I don’t know how, but God has given me the ability to feel rested even if I only get a few hours sleep. I am thankful for this gift even though it is a mystery to me. Danny boy, will usually sleep the next day since the pain of leg cramps wears his little body out.
On top of the leg cramps, Danny seems to be having a problem with motion sickness or something of the sort. If I feed him by his G-tube while we are moving in the plane or car or even his stroller, he complains terribly so and will eventually start wrenching and not be able to keep his feedings down. Last night, his nurse from home wrote me with some ideas to try. I hope that will make him feel better today. Despite this and the leg cramps, my boy is all smiles! Let me share some of his highlights of his day- some of his fairytale moments.
If you follow us on Facebook, you might remember Danny Boy asking me, a few weeks back, if I would cuddle him in Rome. I told him, “Yes! I will cuddle you in London, I will cuddle you in Paris, and I will cuddle you in Rome!” This morning, I was busy preparing for the day when Danny boy greeted me at the stairs in his pjs asking, “Momma will you cuddle me? Remember you said you would cuddle me in London?” So back to bed I went to cuddle this adorable little boy. Danny insisted that my feet were all the way up in the bed and that we had the covers on us too. My dear Joe captured a picture that I will forever treasure.
We were all laughs as we picked up our rental car. Danny Boys daddy (My Dear Joe) would be driving for the first time on the “wrong” side of the road in one of the worlds largest cities! After a few bloopers and lots of laughing we found ourselves enjoying the countryside. Danny slept most of the way waking just in time to see dairy cattle and sheep grazing on beautiful green pastures.
Once we arrived in Oxford, we made our first stop at the burial spot for C.S. Lewis. It was a beautiful resting place with graves marked as old as the 1300s. Danny boy had questions about the graves and even asked if I would take his photo by one that he found interesting for some reason. We have never talked about death before and honestly, I didn’t think of it prior to our visit here. I did enjoy hearing his questions and answering them for him. Perhaps, it was a moment God was using to reveal himself to Danny Boy. Danny Boys big sister, Rebekah, was able to tell Danny all about the trumpet that will sound and when these dead bones will rise from the ground. Danny loved the discussion. This has been my prayer, that Danny would see God’s love for him through these travels
Next, was a trip to the grave site of Tolkien! Danny boys brother, Timothy enjoys Tolkien’s writings immensely. This was a much larger burial spot than the site we visited for C.S. Lewis. What I noticed about both places was how messages of hope or encouragement were engraved on the tombstones- more than I have ever seen at home in the US. My favorite was one that said, “Search the Scriptures”. It reminded me of Danny’s great grandfather, Ora Renfro. On his 90th birthday he was asked, “If you could only give one piece of advice to the next generation what would it be?” He replied, ” Read your Bible everyday and do as it says.”
From there we took a stroll through Oxford visiting the University and one of the oldest coffee houses, Queens Lane Coffee House. We also went to the Eagle and Child a pub where C.S. Lewis and Tolkien use to enjoy hearty conversation together. We stopped by a cafe next door for the best lemon poppyseed muffin I have ever tasted.
Danny boy made it to the top with a bit of help from momma. He wanted to take a photo of our accomplishment. This is his photo of the three of us who made the expedition to the top of this monument.
And of course, Miss Emmy wanted to take one too…. they are the best of friends!
All through the day Danny kept asking if we could see a castle. We made our way over to the Oxford Castle built in 1077. Danny Boy wanted to walk the stairs to the tower. It was the only remaining portion of the original tower. The staff said children under five should not go. Danny, being five, insisted that rule didn’t apply to him. The staff warned us it would be a difficult climb for him, but Danny was determined and we weren’t about to say no.
Danny waited all day to visit the Oxford Castle. He wanted to walk up the tower. So daddy helped by lifting him up each and every step. The stairs were small and steep… All 101 of them!!! Afterwards Danny gave his daddy the biggest hug and said, We did it daddy!!! Thank you!”
We retried the rental car to the airport without incident and then had our escort take us to dinner. He suggested an Italian restaurant that did not disappoint us! Danny was quite tired, but made it through the meal without falling asleep. We walked home passing a shop with postcards… Of course, Danny wanted to pick one out for his collection. I believe it was the double decker bus postcard that he finally decided on.
Back to the house to play cars and a game of Fish before bedtime (Danny Boy was quite proud he won mommy). By the way, this is not the door to the house… rather it is the chapel door at the burial site where C.S. Lewis’s grave is.
That wraps up day two of our adventure. There were many fairytale moments tucked into a trip to Oxford.
Until our next adventure,
Danny Boy’s Mom