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The summer that was. And wasn’t.

September 12, 2012

Summers are usually a blast.  Vacations are planned and taken.  Heat drives everybody crazy.  Lightning bugs are captured.  Swimming pools are dove into.  Large quantities of cold beverages are consumed.  There are popsicles and ice cream.  It’s a lazy, unscheduled, languid time.  Especially for kids wishing to shake off 9 months of school.  Drew, our oldest, counted down the days to the end of his kindergarten school year.  Who could blame him?

I, on the other hand, was not so enthused.  Yeah, for Drew his summer was shaping up like to be a ball.  3 full months off from the regimen of lining up, raising your hand and coloring inside the lines.  So why was I such a buzzkill?

Because Alex, Drew’s little brother, has autism.  And he was going to be on summer break, too.  Autistic kids crave structure, crave regimen–anything that they can expect.  Mine even craved the long 45 minute bus ride to school.  And for the summer all that just doesn’t exist for him.  That’s just how it is.  But who has fun by planning every activity down to the minute?  Nobody. But I don’t have autism.  I don’t have a choice.  Alex is ours and I was going to do my best.

I have to put in a 40 hour work week, too.  So does Kat.  So some kind of babysitter/nanny would be needed to fill the gaps when one of us wasn’t at home.  And not just some 15 year old from down the street.  Alex can be a handful.  I told Kat about my reservations.  She shared the same concern.  We’d just take it a day at a time, I mused.  We’d get through.

Know what?  We did just fine.  We found a very capable gentleman from South Africa to help keep Drew and Alex safe while Kat and I were gone.  The kids, Kat and I just rolled with it, letting the demands of the day wash over us like the waves on a beach.  If it was pleasant outside, that’s where we went.  If it was raining, we played indoors.  Alex continued to improve due likely to the change in his meds from this past June.  He probably liked the idea of not going to school, either.  Few behaviors requiring his helmet.  More giggles and silliness.  Yes, it was godawful hot.  But that’s why lawn sprinklers are magnificent.  And kiddy pools.  Even our ancient air conditioner soldiered on another season, keeping our house comfortable.  And we never lost power.  (Last year was a catastrophe in this respect.)

Still hectic, though.  But it was manageable.  No trips to the E.R.  No meltdowns in public.  Just playing and celebrating with our cousins and friends.  Pools, arcades, bike rides, exploding water balloons for the kids.  Wine, concerts and laughter for the adults–it was a great time.  Now, the faint scent of dying leaves–autumn–is in the air.  The kids are back in school.  They show remarkable flexibility to the change of pace.  Yes, we want Alex to speak.  Yes, he probably wants to also.  Well, summer 2013 isn’t that far away.

One Comment
  1. Julia permalink

    It’s been a fairly traumatic summer here in MN. Sounds like you survived yours in your usual fine form.

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