“This summer, I am taking my wife and kids on an Alaskan cruise. Then we are going down to California to drive the coast from the top of the state to the bottom. “
“That sounds amazing! I have always wanted to do something like that, too.”
“Yeah, we really can’t wait. Everyone is so excited. How about you? Do you guys have any vacation plans?”
“No. Not yet.”
The Summer Vacation
My husband and I have been dwelling on the summer vacation issue for some time. Trying to figure out a fun, relaxing trip for the whole family (with autism) to enjoy has been nothing short of challenging.
We have always been beach goers. Last year we left vacation and said, “Next year – let’s try something new. Where do you think, we should go?”
And we sat, and looked at each other. Then at the walls. Then at the floor. Took a deep breath and said, “Well, I guess we will have to really think about this.”
The Bucket List Wish
When my husband and I heard of our friend’s vacation plans, we both just looked at each other and gave each other the sad smile. When we first married, on the top of my husband’s bucket list was “Drive the California coast line.” He took the time to plan the trip, the stops, the views – his excitement was contagious and he had me excited for the day we could make the trip a reality.
But time rolled on, and the trip continues to sit on that bucket list.
We allowed ourselves to feel that bit of envy for a moment. That bit of sadness. Looking at the wish on the list that seems to be accumulating cobwebs, knowing we are nowhere near blowing them off to bring the wish to a shiny fresh reality.
We let the sadness go, and discussed our friends trip. There is no way we would put Declan on a cruise. A child that wakes up in the middle of the night. What if we somehow slept through his wake up and he got passed us? Nope, no way. No cruise.
The drive. Oh, the drive! Looking at beautiful scenery. All the while, listening to screaming. Screaming that melts your brain, exhausts your every emotion until you are a pile of tears.
We’ll do the drive. We will. Just some other time.
Yes, We Will!
A little while ago, my husband and I decided we were not going to live in the world of, “we can’t” anymore. We had spent years splitting up the family to complete different events or outings, which seems typical of many autism families.
Some events were too hard for Declan, or too hard for us to manage Declan in.
But the awesome thing is, Declan is not the same child he was 2-3 years ago. We aren’t the same parents we were 2-3 years ago. We have all learned so much and continue to grow every day.
We recognized the growth. And so, we changed our “We can’t” into “We will try” or “We will, one day.”
We still don’t know what we are going to do this summer for vacation. There are plenty of factors we need to take into consideration for us to have an enjoyable experience. But we are willing to try something new. We both think the family can handle the change. I am sure we will come up with something exciting and fun.
And, who knows, in 5 years, maybe ten? One day we will drive the California coast. I am sure of it.