Summer Vacation or Summer Madness?

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Two weeks ago, I packed up Liev for an impromptu vacation.

This morning, I finally recovered from that vacation.

Sometimes, I question the soundness of my urges to take my son on “getaways.”

I am autistic. Grocery shopping, doctor’s visits, and busy restaurants leave me jittery and unnerved. Yet, I longed to take a beach holiday. A holiday alone with my similarly autistic son.

Was this madness or bravery?

My history of adventures with my son is consistent. I endure the effort of each trip with cheer. When I return home, however, I teeter on the brink of a nervous collapse for days.

Bedtime meltdowns in particular promote post-trip burnout. Our typical nights in strange places are pandemonium. In the past, he has knocked over lamps, yanked pictures off the wall and even  called 911.

This  trip he dozed off without incident–every single night.  A first!

Hooray for Liev !

Nevertheless, I wonder why I undertake such grand adventures.

Part of it is boredom. I can’t bear the same walls or the same air any longer. Monotony abrades my soul, like skin continuously chafed.  I must move to find relief. A shift, a detour from the routine invigorates me.


Liev benefits as well.  A five minute meltdown is still only five minutes in the span of hours. The same outburst could occur at Market Basket over a coveted candy bar.  I am not mad to prefer beach meltdowns over queue meltdowns.

My son inherited my temperament. One day he will feel as I do. He will languish, bored and stifled by even the sweetest existence. At that moment, I hope he will plunge into fresh water and breathe fragrant air, leaving his doldrums behind.

16 thoughts on “Summer Vacation or Summer Madness?

  1. I think it is awesome that you go out there and take Tyoma out on adventures. If I only had one child I would do the same. My mom and I used to do things like that, only not weekend vacations, long vacations, or anything, but day trips and traveling to cities a few hours away. It was some of the best times ever. We were explorers! We both would come home and have meltdowns. We did not know what they were at the time.

    It instilled in me a love for learning and made it possible for me to travel overseas, and be able to pack up and move whenever I could not take the same city any longer. You are not mad, you are just willing to go through the momentary troubles (in the scheme of things) for the joys, and wonders of life! I find that admirable. 🙂

    So glad you got to have you back and hope that it was a wonderful adventure!!

    I am so jittery from all of the grocery, family, and store adventures I have had to do lately I think that my voice is even shaking! 🙂

    1. Thank you for the support! I am amazed by how you keep your whole family together. You seem so balanced and happy! My mom and I had many adventures when I was a girl, but she has never been prone to meltdowns or collapse. Lucky me! It is wonderful that you have such happy memories!

      I pray that I can help Tyoma learn to travel, I know how much it enriches my life. My husband grew up with a horror of travel and new places. I wonder if he had not been raised in the Soviet Union where travel was difficult if things would have been different for him.

      I hope your jitters have long ago vanished. I look forward to reading your comments on my blog, you understand me so well.

      Have a sweet day Angel!


      1. Awwww, Lori! My last post reveals just how unbalanced I am! 🙂 I found my nitche in writing. It helps me find my balance. I am sure Tyoma is going to have all of your travel moments stored as pleasantries. I think had it been difficult to travel, or too stressful, like I can image it would be in the Soviet Union, I would be resistant as well. It can take a lot out of a person, but then again I share the adventurous spirit you have so if I am able to I go anyway! Woot! 🙂 Thank you! (The sound of the phone ringing is making me cry, so I am not sure my jitters are gone yet. They are better though.) I hope your day is quite grand as well!!

  2. As always, enjoying your blog. I am particularly pulled in by the artwork. **LOVE**
    –Your Neurodiversity post made me smile. Why do people think that there is some thing “wrong” with the way autistic kids play? What if someone made the rule, every child must line up their “stuff”, the thought cracks me up.
    Oh, tooth grinder here with little toothgrinders upstairs. Middle guy barely had a front baby tooth left for the tooth fairy. 🙁 Never thought of it as a proprio seeking type thing, but makes sense.

    1. Thank you for dropping by! It brings me great cheer to know that you enjoy my blog. I adore fiddling with digital collage, old school collage and plain old paints and markers!

      It’s good to hear other voices that support ASD differences in play. It was so hurtful to have Tyoma’s play pathologized. I am grateful to those who help us to build specific skills instead of rejecting his differences as a whole.

      I am sorry that your little one has grinding problems. We kept our pacifier until almost 4 since Tyoma needed the proprio input. It kept him from stuffing random things in in mouth when he became anxious. Only recently has he given up chewy tubes, but I expect a resurgance as school starts up again (first grade!).

      Thanks for stopping by and visiting!


      1. Please everyone, read the post about saying goodbye to the pacifier. That is the way to transition to all new phases of life.

        1. Thank you so much for the bump, Pat! This was soooo timely he gave up the pacifier (souska) TWO years ago Sunday. Click teaser picture for the article:

          goodbye paci

  3. I am comforted that traveling exhausts you too. Since we came back from our sojourn I’ve been almost useless. I’m not an Aspie but I’m not neurotypical and people take the tar out of me. My boys loved and suffered and loved it just as I did. We’ll do it all over again next year.

    1. Thank you for the support. I understand you completely. You describe yourself the same way I would describe my my husband. He is not an Aspie, yet he is not neurotypical either. People exhaust both of us and he has a few quirks. It is a spectrum!

      I am glad to hear that you will do it again next year. You are giving your children wonderful adventures. The stimulation and education will live long in their memories.

      Nice to hear from you! Thanks for dropping by!

  4. “Travel challenges the anxious, but arrival opens the mind.” Fantastic sentiment. Ah yes, we too have endured the 911 calls while on vacation. In fact, we were visited by a policeman at the door of the beach condo we were staying in. The officer came inside and talked to a then 4 year-old Teddy about the seriousness of calling 911. Luckily he was very patient and his tutorage was effective as Teddy never called 911 again! I don’t believe travel is ever a wasted effort, so keep it up and just have that fainting couch ready upon your return! 🙂

    1. Non aspie, but spectrum friendly here: sometimes the authorithy and security of 911 helps. Even if if seems inappropriate (as an “adult” who knows better, I want to call for help sometimes too).

    2. I am glad I have some company in the 911 Club! It’s good that the police officer helped you teach Teddy. I fear T’s impulses are not under enough control that we can leave the phones plugged in!

      I am emboldened by your encouragement. It stretches and stimulates the mind to get away from home and learn about the world. I promise use my couch generously!

  5. I sooooooooooooo get this. I think it took me two weeks to recover from our last trip. And the day you published this post, I had a doctor appointment for my son….and I was a wreck all day! I freaked out. Couldn’t function. Sunk into depression….we are so alike. Huge hugs….and love your art, as always. 🙂 Sam

    1. Thank you so much for visiting, Sam. I marveled at how you managed to take an exotic vacation and still post brilliant work, day after day. I super-admire you! I understand you right back.

      PS Doctor’s appointments always wipe me out, too. And dental appointments…yikes!

  6. Yes!! I SO understand this! My husband asks sometimes why I “take the risk” of our son not doing well out in new environment. It’s because I have to move, just like my son has to move, just like my dad had to always be on the move, even when there are sometimes really rough moments.

    As you put it so well, “Part of it is boredom. I can’t bear the same walls or the same air any longer. Monotony abrades my soul, like skin continuously chafed. I must move to find relief. A shift, a detour from the routine invigorates me.”

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