My son is headed out for a week’s vacation at Grandma & Grandpa’s house, which happens to be 3 states away. His other grandparents live a mere 2 states away (don’t be fooled – both are 600 miles), but in the opposite direction. Yes, you read that correctly and if you go ahead and make the inference, you’ll be correct again: We live 600 miles from our nearest family member.
We did it ‘by choice’ – if ‘by choice’ you mean because my husband was pretty much doomed to a layoff at work and was having a hell of a time finding another job locally. (Now I know why so many people major in ‘business’…it’s apparently much better to have no idea what you want to do with your life than to field a passion for a particular field – who knew.) Our marriage was also drowning in acid at the time, for assorted reasons, though our location was related to several on the list.
So yeah, it was our choice.
Of course, at the time, we didn’t know that our son was on the spectrum. Had we known, I’m not sure how it would have changed things, but since it has factored in virtually every other decision since we got a clue, I have to imagine that knowledge would have had an impact. Though it might have made me scream and wail a lot more about leaving family that could help us (my husband thinks, “MORE???”), I can at least hope that my more intelligent nature could have kicked in and used that information to look for early intervention services in the major metropolitan area in which we now live.
Yes, that would have been handy information to have, indeed.
Instead, we moved, the acid boiled over and left us scarred and bleeding for a long time, and we spent a couple more years in as near-complete denial as we could manage of the fact that we were living on the spectrum, and a large part of that willful denial had to do with being completely, utterly, absolutely on our own with our son.
…except for a few weeks a year, when he goes to visit his grandparents. And since he has started school, those trips are significantly shorter, fewer, and farther between.
One the glorious me-isms is that when one of those vacations is approaching, my mind begins to project-cise at warp-speed.
All those times we’ve said, “We’ll have to do that when he’s not home”? He’s about to not be home.
The list starts flying by in my head. The excitement begins to build. Projects whizzing by my eyes: paint his room! rearrange his furniture! fix that window! move the office downstairs! set up my scrapbook area! scrapbook! move the bedroom back into the bedroom! then make the old bedroom into … whatever we’re making it into!! ….
Yeah, just downshift there, Mr. Sulu.
It’s 5 days, not 5 weeks – and the way I function? I’ll be pretty happy if I have all that stuff done in 5 months. (That’s not self-deprecating either, I really will!)
So, through the benefit of my ADD therapy, reading, and medication, I’m grabbing the emergency brake with both hands. While my mind is still grabbing like the project-addicted junkie that it is at the thought of all the things I could start AND NEVER FINISH, I am choosing _ONE_ thing to which I will dedicate myself while he is away.
What?? He doesn’t leave until tomorrow.
I know you didn’t think I’d already PICKED.