Just came back from a trip to Ohio to visit with my parents for a few days. It’s amazing how much time road trips give you to think when you are trying to mentally block out your kids fighting in the back seat—after all how many times can you say keep your hands to yourself, yes we’ll stop at the next rest stop, no you don’t need another snack, yes I’ll change the dvd, no I can’t pick up the crayon that you dropped until we stop, or it is exactly 1 minute later than the last time you asked.
Random thoughts from thinking time…
When Caden was about 12-13 months old we would play the tried and true game of “say mommy.” When we were in the car together, I’d ask him to say mommy. He’d inevitably say daddy. We’d do that a few times until I’d say oh okay Caden say daddy. He would crack up laughing and then say oh mommy. It was such a special moment but unfortunately I didn’t know how special it was until we played it for the last time on the way to his 15 month check up. That morning was the last time he said mommy. You have no idea how many times I’ve wished over the last 2 years that I had recorded one of those moments but I wonder if it would hurt even more listening to what was rather than just enjoying what is. Thankfully, over time he has learned to say nonnie and I can honestly say that it is the most precious thing that I hear each day because it is Caden’s way of letting me know he knows who I am and loves me no matter how he expresses it!
I’ve started to think about how different traveling will be with the service dog. I’m super excited, but am wondering who we are going to make ride on the roof because there is NO way that both kids, a large dog, and all of our stuff are going to fit into either vehicle. On a short trip we have our suitcase, each kid has their “fun stuff” bag and must have pillow pets (thanks to our trip to Grandma and Papaw’s this week, they now both have 2 pillow pets), each has a portable file cabinet size container of medicine (thank you primary immune deficiencies), and “stuff”. Add in the dog and we’ll have a crate, dog food, bowls, etc. So I’m thinking we need something with more room for seating and storage but we also need something that will handle Minnesota/Wisconsin winters….oh and it has to be “budget” friendly. And while we are looking for this vehicle, maybe you can sell me that infamous bridge.
Thinking time always equals guilt time of sorts. You know questions like I wonder if we have Caden in enough therapy or even the right therapy. Almost everything I read talks about 40 or more hours of therapy a week but even though Caden has autism, I want him to have time to just be a kid. He wasn’t really enjoying or getting much out of physical therapy, so we put him in a gymnastics class at the Y instead—he loves it and seems to be improving some of his coordination skills. Do we get to consider that therapy? What about the activities/games that we play at home? Then there’s the other side of the coin—do we balance our time equally between the kids? Do we expect Ryley to understand too much about autism? Do we expect Caden to spend too much time at cheerleading competitions while she’s pursuing her dreams? Do we work too much? Do we work enough? And the list goes on……I’m not sure it’s really guilt though; seems more like an endless list of questions to which there are no answers.
On second thought, maybe telling the kids what time it is for the 100th time or reliving them setting off the emergency alarms in the elevator at the last hotel isn’t so bad after all….I mean elevator doors popping open, alarms going off, mysterious voices asking what your emergency is, and everyone looking at you as you get off the elevator isn’t really all that bad to remember over and over and over again :)