Fitzgerald Marine Reserve at Moss Beach
I am glad she is enjoying herself despite the difficult journey to get from one place to the next. We see all kinds of wonder...the bat star fish, the big purple starfish, both alive, both clinging to the rocks, or relaxed in the pools of the ocean water. Margo is bending over and touching every see anenimi she passes by, and there are lots of them. We walk closer to the edge of the platform, where the rocks meet the incoming tide...and now we find little eels, and limpets, and even sea grass, and little crabs that live in the grass. These two little creatures are holding on, until the tide returns and covers them. They will need to wait a few more hours for sure. About 15 more minutes have passed, and now Margo was ready to return to the car, asking us to walk back to the sandy beach, where she can manage the gravity. Aria and her brother are still engaged in the adventure and study of the little sea creatures...Margo has had it with unsteady walking and slipping and holding onto me, her mom, with every step she takes. What do I do????
I see the rangers talking, not too far from where we are standing, so I separate myself from my daughter and go to speak with the rangers. I think I look a little desperate...I really am desperate because I want Margo to enjoy the tide pools and the treasures they hold, but I do not anticipate all the extra energy she needs to just walk around without tripping. I never remember it being that difficult...but then again I did not struggle with balance either when I was young. So I approach the rangers and quickly explain "My daughter has a developmental motor planning and balance disability which makes it extremely difficult for her to step through the tide pool area. I am not as sure footed as I would like to be while helping her, and well, she is not enjoying the beauty out here. In fact her dream is to become a Marine Biologist, but right now she is about to give up on the whole adventure. Can you come alongside and help her get re-engaged into the beauty of this place?" Neither hesitate to offer help, in fact one of them says, "Oh I remember her, she is the one who needed help crossing the stepping stones to the beach, sure I can help out." Thank God for Ranger Laura, she comes right up to Margo and starts to show her some of the little animals to see, and the next thing you know, Ranger Laura takes Margo by the hand and they begin to walk, watch and talk. Margo relaxes, she is walking with someone more sure footed than her mother, and someone who teaches her about the sea and its environment.
Soon Ranger Laura is called to check on some other area of the tide pools and we walk back to cross over to the other side of the creek. My boot is soaked in the creek, as I slipped off the rock...Margo is clamoring on a fallen tree. At first she wants me to help her across the fallen tree, but no I say, you can do this, just keep crawling to the other side. After a few minutes, she starts making progress, and before you know it she is safe on the other side. Land oh Land, Margo is on solid land, and happily reflects upon a wonderful day.
It is a great day, Margo keeps going, yeah she complains, because she is tired, and anxious about falling on the hard rocks of the tide pools. The best part came because I was at the end of my rope, and asked for help... there was Ranger Laura! I love the ocean, and the tide pools, and I am so glad I can share this adventure with my little Margo. Thank you Gia for the ride, and thank you Ranger Laura for Margo's personal tour and your gentle hand holding while you both walk across the slippery rocks.