So I just got back from a two week vacation in San Francisco with my children. It was me, Michael, and Mason. On the second day, I was already feeling completely overwhelmed by the new space (we stayed with my aunt), the time change, Michael’s breakdown, and the fact that I was on my own for the next two weeks, tending my high-need child and my Zen Buddha child.

“On my own” is so much easier in MY house because, as I write this, I realize I’m on my own most everyday. Please note, these two children are sometimes known to switch roles . . . these labels are simply for ease of follow-along communication.

It’s the second day in SF, and I’m already thinking I have made the world’s biggest mistake in flying all the way across the United States to spend two weeks visiting my aunt with my high-need son and my other son. Let me now state WHY we’re in California:

  1. My different-brained son has had breakdowns the past two years in late-July/early-August of epic proportions, usually resulting in my programming the emergency psych ward into my phone (better safe than sorry when needing a quick speed dial, right?). I believe this is due to the heat (sensory stuff, don’t ya know) and the “flexible” scheduling of summer.
  2. My ex-husband was generous enough to buy the three tickets last Christmas as my holiday gift because I told him of my “action plan” to stamp out the end-of-summer trauma. Nice—I know.
  3. I love my aunt who lives in California.
  4. It’s cooler there.
  5. It will break up the summer monotony (or something).

So it’s the second day, and I end up saying out loud (without meaning to, of course, my vocal chords and brain sometimes don’t get their timing in sync), “I wonder if I should just call this whole thing off and go home.”

To which the other person who heard those words said, “It wouldn’t be fair to Mason.”

Know this, I truly do not remember who was speaking to me. I think it was my aunt, but what if it were some San Franciscan prophet who had been dead many years and the voice came from the plant? I really wish I had a better recollection of where the response came from, but I don’t, so I’ll move on.

By golly—Mason IS worth a two-week San Francisco vacation, and by golly, that’s what he’s gonna get! My different brainer is going to be just fine and we’ll work this all out. Does my aunt have duct tape? Is that even funny to joke about? Yes, in fact, that is quite funny because I would never actually use duct tape. Yes, we will work this out.

And we did. And it was amazing. And completely enjoyable and fun . . .

Now, I want to say WHY I was able to make the commitment to staying the two weeks and not changing my life because Michael had a breakdown on the second day. I was able to easily commit because I have seen Temple Grandin’s movie. I listened to the commentary at the end and heard the message of how her mother was absolutely committed to Temple living life and not being scared of it. And so from Temple Grandin’s mother (not directly), I commit to giving my son a life of opportunity. I will push him in a safe and loving manner. He’s GOT this! 🙂 And I will help him along with a nudge or a gentle shove when necessary and hugs all along the way.

Epilogue: I just got off a two-day binge of chocolate (yes, from Ghirardelli Square near the Wharf), decaf coffee, six movies, and the fetal position. I’m back and ready for life. Mostly anyway.

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