We’re going on our first big family trip where we’re leaving Dmitry behind.
It’s about a 7 hour drive from home to Las Vegas where my brother-in-law is serving his vicar year. My newborn niece Ember is being baptized, and since I haven’t held a baby niece since the last time I held a baby niece (Thanksgiving), I guess we simply can’t miss it.
But 7 hours each way in a car with a severely autistic ADHD child just isn’t high on my bucket list. Is there a bucket list for things you do after you kick the bucket? This is on that list. Last June we took a 3.5 hour trip to the mountains to escape the yearly Arizona Lowland Molten Furnace of Arid, Fiery Death, and the trip was absolutely wonderful. No one complained the drive up, we got a reasonable place, had a few hours with just the wife and me, smelled the ponderosa, and our kids frolicked happily in the tall pines. All was happy, that is, until evening. When Dmitry decided that sleep would be best saved for the following day’s drive home, not the evening we stayed overnight in a little (tiny) cabin. Delighted coos, cupboard-banging, refrigerator-raiding, and dish-breaking gently whispered us into sweet dreams of restful sleep for roughly zero seconds that evening.
My bride and I gazed deeply into each others’ eyes and murmured longingly, lovingly: “Never again.”
So, Mom is really excited to take him and apparently cursed her wretched luck outside of my hearing, and I know they’re going to have a good time, but still… this is a family thing, and a very real, very loved part of the family is getting excluded.
Autism Daddy talked about this strange bittersweet feeling a little in his holiday update post.
I don’t know how I’ll feel about this. Maybe I’ll unpack it more when I return from the weekend trip.