|On the plane. Thank God for iPads.|
I have been nervous about taking my son on a long trip. I am very fortunate in that I have a genius for a brother, who has done very well for himself. He, and my sister in law, are very generous people who happen to love traveling. Thankfully they love us too, and always invite us to go on trips with them. For the past couple of years, I have painfully declined going on these trips, even a trip to Italy. My son has just not been in a good enough place to travel, and I just wasn’t up for taking the risk of what might happen dragging him across the globe. I wasn’t even up for taking him with me to the grocery store half the time. I explain some of his issues and my fears about traveling in another blog here. This time, however, my family was traveling to Colorado, only 2 short flights away. For the past few months, my son has been much happier, and people talking and other things that have been known to set him off, have not been as frustrating to him as they have been in the past. We had also taken him to Colorado a couple of years ago and he loved it. So, my husband and I decided to give it a try and go for it. I’m so glad we did.
Beckett was so excited to be in the airport. He loved flying, looking out the window, and talking about the clouds. He loves spinning, swinging , and most types of movement, so the sensation of flying was awesome for his little sensory seeking body. He did become frustrated when the stewardess or pilot would speak over the loudspeaker on the plane. But, thankfully we could distract him with toys, snacks, or put on his headphones. He never went into a full-blown meltdown, which I was fearful of. He even had some kind of a stomach issue that day, which was really fun in airport bathrooms. Yuck.
He loved playing in the snow, but if it somehow snuck into his clothes and got him wet or cold, then he was done. But I guess that would aggravate me too. We ate at restaurants, with very little fussing, one even had a live band, and it didn’t bother him one bit. “Who is this kid?” I wondered. He tolerated his cousins and even kind of played with them, which was great. He usually plays alone, not allowing many people into his little world. I found him and my nephew cuddled up on the couch playing iPad games together one night.
Whenever he would start getting overloaded and frustrated, we would take him to the “time out room.” There was a circular shaped little room detached from the house overlooking the mountain. It was all windows from floor to ceiling and had the most comfortable lounge chairs. It was also the quietest space I have ever been in. Needless to say, Beckett loved this room, so did my husband, who also sometimes needs a little “time out.” I loved it too. We would go and sit in there for a while and just watch the snow fall and everyone would feel better. I need one of these rooms in my yard at home, but it would just overlook the grass and there would be no snow. Not quite the same.
|The "time out" room|
All in all it was a great trip. I was a little nervous about flying home, but not as much as I was to get there. As luck would have it, Beckett still loved flying on the way home, and was awesome! Unfortunately, my worst nightmare came true for a woman who was sitting in front of us. She was traveling with her husband and 4 children. She was holding her youngest who was probably 1 ½ or so. The poor little guy was unhappy for some of the flight, but when we started descending for landing became totally inconsolable. He cried so hard that he threw up a couple of times. I wanted to help this woman so badly. I knew this could’ve easily been me! I felt so helpless; I didn’t know what to do for her. I tried offering her one of Beckett’s toys, thinking the novelty of a new toy might distract him. But, she politely declined saying,” Thanks but he might barf on it.” I told her it was ok, but I didn’t want to be pushy or aggravating to her so I just let her be. I wanted to offer her wipes, extra clothes, or anything else I possibly could, but I could tell, understandably, that she didn’t really want to talk to anyone. I would’ve felt the same way. I heard her husband say that they had another plane to catch in 20 minutes. I don’t know what happened to them, but I hope they made it home ok.
We got on our next flight and made it home with no problems. The stewardess on the plane was really sweet and kept coming to talk to us, and Beckett called her a doctor. This really cracked us up. When we landed Beckett appropriately quoted Dora the explorer, saying “We did it!” Yes we did, buddy, yes we did.
What did I learn from this experience? I think I’ll stop being such a wuss, put on my big girl pants, and take my kid out more. If he has a meltdown, oh well. He obviously likes being out around people, doing new things, and having adventures, so I promise to try harder.