Once in a less-than-rare-moment, I get a hair up my you know what and decide that yes, I can do the impossible. Does it mean I can? No. Nope. Nopers. But try convincing me I’m wrong in the moment, and well…you’re on your own, buddy.
Recently, I decided to fly with the boys to Virginia [sans husband] to see one of my best friends and my family, just one day following our return home from the Bahamas. I was convinced that I had it all planned out (and to be fair, I legitimately did plan every blessed minute of the travel) to mitigate every possible crisis I would face. The flight there was seamless; I’m talking smooooooth as buttah. No puking, no delays, no whining. Perfection.
Then we got to the car rental desk. You know the sloth in the movie Zootopia, ‘Flash’? Yes. That’s the one. Well it just so happens Hertz hired him for their airport desk. As friendly as can be, but SLOW. An hour of waiting, two potty accidents, running out of milk AND juice for an already exhausted autistic toddler, and learning they did NOT have the car we’d reserved, and we were on our way, albeit with a bit less zest. This was the beginning of the end, in my head anyway. (I know this seems dramatic, I acknowledge that and own my truth lol).
The rest of the trip was a jumble of mini incidents: major storms raining out my sweet niece’s extravagantly-planned (outdoor) birthday party; getting stuck in VA for an extra day and a half after Breeze Airlines failed to schedule a flight crew; and Hertz refusing to extend my rental that extra day and a half, to name only a few. Adding a cluster of new, smaller-than-we’re-used-to-places, compounded by well-meaning people who just didn’t understand “please don’t look at or talk to my child, just ignore him,” and we had the perfect storm.
Exposing young kiddos to new places and people can be difficult, and presents its own set of challenges; exposing autistic children to new places and people is endlessly challenging. I’m talking really hard. But as a rule in our day to day, we try anyway. We want BOTH our sons to experience new environments, able to adapt and adjust, and we want to grow in our ability to help them to that end. One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me growing up was exposing me to a myriad of people and places that often didn’t mirror my own life: I am better for it, and I want that for my kiddos, too. So we keep trying, just as I was with our Virginia trip, often with great success.
Unfortunately, this trip was not to be one of those success stories. Cementing the clear, hard truth I’d dramatically asserted at the Hertz kiosk just a few days prior, stress and anxiety had taken over: Fitz was stress vomiting, Alex wouldn’t eat, I hadn’t slept more than six hours the last two days, and my heart rate hit 135 bpm. I realized I’d made a mistake; traveling so far by myself with my two littles so soon after our last adventure was too much, and it was more than I could do.
I’m not one to freely or easily admit something like that. But it was in this experience that I was >gently< reminded I’m still learning; I don’t have to (and shouldn’t try to) do it all, all the time, and I don’t have to have it all figured out. Am I glad I went? Absolutely. I cherish times with friends and family, and I hadn’t seen mine in far too long. Am I glad it’s over and done? Yup.
I’m sure I’ll try again, eventually. I’m stubborn, and (as you may now understand) I’ve always had to learn the hard way, after all. But for today, I’m reminded it’s okay to recognize my limits and acknowledge when I can’t do something as much or as well as I’d like to believe. More importantly, I’m reminded my boys are happy and fulfilled little humans, whether they go on five adventures, or 50. Riding in the car with boys was more than I could take on this time. And I’m good with that.
Want to keep up with our past, current, and on-the-go adventures and travels? Follow us on IG @alexanderandfitz @justkristyleigh @littlestfish and @theswimmingkid where you’ll find a myriad of family candids. I’ll be posting fun shots from our trip to Turks and Caicos over the next few weeks-and don’t miss our upcoming trips this summer as we make some BIG life changes. Want to help us pick the next adventure? Vote on our FB or IG page and let us know where, and why. If we pick your spot, you win a $50 Alexander and Fitz gift card!