Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Camping We Will Go...Again

It’s that time of year again…. time for Boy Scout camp.


Let’s start by quoting Sean…

“Mom, are you excited?”

Oh, oh!  I know this one (as I picture myself wildly squirming in my desk seat, hand up in the air, desperate to be called upon).

The answer would be….


And yes, that’s my final answer!

Was it the messy house, the hot weather of this summer or a million other things that kept me from reaching epic excitement mode?  Or is it simply that this year was definitely not the year I was looking forward to camp?

Then again, sleeping in a tent for a week, eating camp food and getting eaten alive by unknown beasts of air and land is hardly on my bucket list or even something I want to write about in my “What I Did Over Summer” report.

No… nada… blyuck.

But I love my kid and you all know I’d do anything for him.  Thus, it is back to camp I go.

Unlike last year when Sean rode the bus with the rest of the troop and I followed in my car immersed in Barry Manilow heaven, we decided that it was best for Sean to stay back and ride with me.

He wasn’t thrilled with the idea until I explained to him exactly the comforts (or lack there of) of riding in a 15-passenger van with… well… 14 other people.

No dvd player.  No room to spread out.  No control over the radio station.

Besides, they were leaving an hour earlier. 

“Don’t you want to sleep in a bit?”


It really had little to do with my being a helicopter mom.  Am I one?  Proudly!  But this time it was different.  Sean has been having major anxiety issues.  Whether it is due to high school or the mere thought of high school or whether or not the sun will come up tomorrow (bet your bottom dollar that it will!), the kid is one chest-tightened, heart- fluttering ball of anxiousness.

The last thing he needed was 4 hours in a crowded van with noise and uncertain bathroom and food breaks.

And let’s not forget, one less hour of sleep!

So off to camp we went….

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Sweetest Thing

Home, sweet home….

Or, as I see it… Laundry…loads and loads of laundry.

It is the morning after coming home from our first family vacation in over 8 years.  Most people are shocked that we have not left town in so long.  However, parents of special needs kids are not.

They know what it takes.

They know what it’s like.

And they are more shocked that it’s been only 8 years since we’ve last ventured out.

Sean couldn’t wait to get home.  I think the pressures of being out of his world were weighing on him and he just had to get back to his computer, his room…his life.

He’s awake now.  With water bottle in hand and the computer on, he’s in his element.

Shortly, he will ask what we have to do today.

Our agenda is light with only helping out at a car wash for the Boy Scouts on it.  I would skip it but camp is in a week and we need funds to pay for the bus that will transport our troop away from air conditioning and cushioned seats to a land of layer upon layer of bug spray and all around discomfort.

Just the thought of packing again and heading out exhausts my ability to cope.  I can only imagine how Sean is going to deal with it.

He did really well though on vacation.  We tried to keep it easygoing and not run around too much.  We brought food from home and I made sure to have some melatonin on hand to help him sleep.

There were times when he would be too quiet and I would look at him and see that he was somewhere deep in his head.  I worried about him most during those moments.  Is he enjoying himself?  Is he stressed?

I would ask him and he would reply that he was merely thinking.

Oh how I wish I knew about what!

I knew he was worried about our new dog Lola.  She was being boarded for the first time and we were all concerned on how she was going to handle it.  The doggie hotel had webcams so we were able to see her while we were gone.

She seemed to be doing fine but still he worried.

He worries a lot… which in turn, worries me.

It’s as if the worrying has aged him or something.  He’s a 14-year-old kid with an 80-year-old soul.  He’s always asking me, “Are you ok?”  Or, “Are you happy?”

Shouldn’t he be more worried about what the next thing that he grabs from the pantry will be?

Oh, that’s right.  He worries about that as well.

At home I always try to ease his fears by laying things out for him.  Every night I tell him what’s going on the following day.  Every morning I tell him again.  Then throughout the day it’s more of me telling him what’s next.

That’s why vacations are so difficult.  You can only plan so much.  You can only anticipate so many obstacles.

In other words, who knew Denny’s would be so crowded at 10:30 in the morning or that Ashley would be the one having the meltdown or that, in the midst of a drought of epic and historical proportions, it would rain??

Seriously…it rained!

Walking in the door last night was not only a relief for him but it was for me as well.  Home is where I know the things that stress him.  Home is where I can help him the most.  Home is his refuge, his safe place.  But most importantly, home is where Sean is free to be himself.

And that alone makes Home the sweetest place to be.