As usual we are getting ready for our summer trip to Boston. Last year, Alex and I went to New York instead. It's not the same. It's not Boston. You understand. So, here we are with Red Sox tickets and Duck Boat plans and reservations at the nicest hotel we could find and I can't help but feel awful. We do this trip once or even twice a year and sometimes we go alone and sometimes we bring Grace. We haven't brought Kate, yet. The last few years we were able to justify that because she was so young. This year we justify it with things like, "she wouldn't enjoy all the changes to her routine" or "she couldn't sit for a 9 inning game" or "what if she gets upset on the train?" We have many legitimate reasons for not bringing her. We remind ourselves that she she will be happier staying home with Grama.
The truth is, there are bits and pieces of this trip that Kate would enjoy. She would love swimming in the hotel pool. She would adore visiting the aquarium (provided it wasn't too busy). She could happily spend hours running around the Commons. When I think of doing these things without her I feel terrible. I quickly remind myself that waiting for the train could easily set her off or that the crowds in Quincy Market would overwhelm her. I think of how confused she would be at bedtime. I think of how the different foods on everyone's plates at restaurants might upset her.
Vacation is, by its very nature, not autism-friendly. It is new sights and smells and experiences. It is a change in every routine. It is a test for any child with autism.
I know we are making the right decision but I still feel awful. It hugely sucks that Kate cannot be included in this summer vacation.
We are taking the girls back to Disney World for New Year's Eve and we know, from experience, that this will be a trip that will take a great deal of planning and accommodation. I guess we are saving up Kate's energy and our own for our Disney adventure.
We will have fun in Boston and we will shower Grace with some much needed attention but we will all wish Kate was with us. We will, of course, buy her a very special, overpriced, stuffed animal from the aquarium to make her smile.
Grace and Kate's mom. (Shanell)