Friday, January 15, 2010

Family Vacation -the Oxymoron

I haven't had the time or energy to write in quite sometime.  Of course I've had many experiences and feelings that would be great to explore over the past month or so.  But in preparing for the holidays, our travel and my mother's upcoming move to live with us, I just didn't write. 

I still believe the term family-vacation is an oxymoron.  A vacation should be relaxing. It's very definition --a rest or relief from work. Not. When your job is taking care of children, and you have to take care of two children with Asperger's who do not deal with change easily, there is nothing relaxing or relieving about it.  In fact, it is more work because you have to deal with them outside of their area of comfort.

We went to visit grandparents (my husbands dad and his wife). Their cousins also joined us at one point, so there were a lot of people sleeping in one house.  Cole who is hypersensitive to sound, had a hard time sleeping on several nights. He doesn't want to sleep next to anyone, which makes juggling the space around even more interesting. Eating someone elses cooking is always a challenge, since they both have sensory issues when it comes to food. Then you have the grandparent's old school mentality, "We don't believe in making all these different meals. All you have to do is...blah, blah, blah. He ate for me. It was no problem. Are you giving in to that?"  Of course no one is watching as they are literally gagging from the texture of mashed potatoes. 

The good news is they did respond positively to their grandparents.  I don't know if it was fear of what may happen if they didn't do as they were told, or just a greater desire to please them and look angelic in their eyes.  Of course, that makes me look at myself and question weather or not I am actually doing a good job parenting them.  Why can't I get them to eat their vegetables without the look on their faces as if I'm feeding them worms? Do I give in too much? They know I love them as much as the day is long -so are they taking advantage of me -playing me like a song on the radio? Probably to a degree. 

So since we've been home, I've been cooking more and insisting that they at least eat a few bites of their vegetables.  I am trying to make their meals a little healthier and cutting down on the fast food.  No matter what I do, they still are not on their best behavior for me.  I suppose that I can count it as a blessing that they do know how to pull it together with extended family and friends.  No matter how I change my parenting style, they will always know that I am their mother and will feel more relaxed to be their most terrible selves for me exclusively.

Most people share the best and the worst part of themselves with those who love them the most.  It's a part of that unconditional love that we share.  Aren't I lucky?