Take a breath.
Try and understand...
I don't care that the computer game is a "non-save" game...
I don't care that you are supposedly three-quarters of the way through winning it...
I don't care. I don't care.
I.... don't.... care.
Step away from the computer and go outside and play in the pool.
How hard can that be?
It's summer. It's 95 degrees.
Why is that so difficult and met with frustration and objections?
It's because he's autistic.
And today is the first day of the new "normal" that comes with summer vacation after having Rich home for the last ten days.
Ten days... one of the longest string of days that Rich has ever been able to take off from work.
While it was fun and relaxing for the majority of the family, it was not always true for Sean.
Ten days of not knowing the schedule. Ten days of being outside of his comfort zone.
Ten days of anxiety, worry.
Ten days of walking a fine line between barely keeping himself together and having a major meltdown.
When you look at it like that, you have to wonder if taking time off and doing vacation-type things such as going to the amusement park or a drive-in are worth it.
You put your child through a dental cleaning for good reason.
But can the same be true for a roller coaster ride, a car museum, or a late-night movie?
We've always tried to give Sean the "typical" experiences of youth. Some have been met with success - Boy Scouts and gymnastics. Others have been a colossal failure. Soccer should have never been....
But we've always tried. We've always believed that with us there, with pre-teaching and pre-planning, that together we could get him through anything.
And if we could get Sean through one experience in life then we could get him through the next and the next...
But at what cost?
I no longer allow Carissa to sleep over at her friends' houses. She can stay as late as she wants and we will pick her up at midnight or 1am when the slumber party is winding down. But she will never sleep over.
Why? Because I don't like the girl that comes home after only three hours of sleep.
The experience of the sleepover is no longer worth the price we pay as a family.
So was the last 10 days worth the mini-meltdown Sean had when I told him to get away from the computer and go outside?
I want to think so....
I want to believe that some good will come from it.
I wish I could say that tomorrow was going to be truly a "go nowhere" day so Sean can unwind but we have therapy.
Sometimes - like now - I wish we didn't.
But knowing that Sean is struggling I will keep the noises of Life down to a roar...
Then, of course, I'll forbid him from embarking upon the long version of RISK until a rainy day.
After all, to win the war, even a great general has to compromise every now and then.