Summer is finally coming to an end and we have soaked up every last minute of it. This summer we ventured out again on one of the many road trips we’ve taken across country. Let’s be clear, this was a trip, not a vacation. Vacations are sitting seaside, with a pina colada in your hand and no children in sight. No my friends, this was a trip. It’s an adventure with a lot of wonderful experiences, but A LOT of work!
Even so, there’s something about travel that is so liberating and also so peaceful. You would think that the sometimes faster pace of travel would not necessarily bring peace, but I discovered on this last trip that letting go of a lot of the planning that I’m typically known for played a huge part in that. It felt so carefree this year and I fell in love with it all over again. I also realized while we were away that our daughter has really grown to love vacationing and even thrives while we are traveling. It’s like she enjoys the routine of not having a daily routine. It makes no sense to me and totally goes against everything I’ve learned about autism, but hey, I’m just rolling with it.
In past years, transitioning to and from summer break was difficult for us. This can be a common challenge for kids with autism. For our daughter, it use to be that fall and it’s steady routine could not come quick enough. She lived for filling in her school agenda (with how she’s planning for her day to go, of course) and she could recite the class schedule for me, even with it’s daily changes. If she missed speech or something else in her regular schedule, it would completely throw her off. Now that she’s maturing, she’s learning to enjoy her time off and is learning to go with the flow more instead of trying to control every situation (sounds like someone else I’m vaguely familiar with) We’ve been all about the flexibility these last few months though. Summer was definitely her peace this year and mine too.
These days she’s a bit more hesitant about what new rules, teacher, friends and routines she will encounter in a new school year. Even so, she adjusted really well to third grade and we all adjusted quickly back into our old routines. We’re a family that loves the fall season, at least what we have of it here in South Florida. We love traveling north for leaf peeping and seeing all the fall colors. There’s nothing like apple picking, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and hot apple cider! So as much as we found our peace in summer, I think we were all ready for the school year to start and get back into our groove.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that at one point, fall was a very sad time for us. Five years ago today our daughter was diagnosed with autism. We were devastated by the news and for a long time we were just struggling to find answers and get her all and any help we could. It’s a date that we will never forget, but we’ve come a long way these past few years. Just like our daughter isn’t defined by autism, fall is no longer defined by that time. It’s a time for new beginnings and a time to celebrate a beautiful season!
Now we’re just hoping for some cooler weather and a break from this heat! If we have 3 days of boot and sweater weather, it’s a miracle, but you know that doesn’t stop me from wearing them or getting my pumpkin spice everything on (yeah, I’m one of those annoying, pumpkin obsessed people and not afraid to admit it). The point is, we all thrive and grow so much in the fall and that’s always something wonderful to look forward to and be thankful for.
So, I hope travel will always be our love. I hope summer will always bring us peace and a break from our daily routine. But I’m ever so glad that tomorrow begins the fall season because I truly believe it’s our jam!
Blessings and Peace for fall Y’all!