A Vacation From Special Needs

Today I’m driving to my mom’s for a week of swimming, museums, movies and play time.

This time will be different, though. This time I left “special needs” off my packing list. After laboring over the decision for weeks, my husband gently urged me to choose rest on this vacation. Which means that yesterday, I took my 8 year old to a residential respite home where she will stay while we’re gone. There’s no relief yet – only disorientation and a sense of guilt. After all, she only hit people a couple of times. She only peed on the floor twice last week. She only kicked and broke ONE remote control. She only spit out her medication a few times recently. It’s not like it’s the worst she’s ever been.

(Are you catching the sarcasm here? Or the level of denial I’ve come to accept to get through this tough season??)

Isn’t it amazing how we go so long, parenting at such high intensity – with so many therapeutic techniques – that we don’t even realize like the frog in the heating pot of water that we’re about to boil?

Instead of boiling, this time I listened to my husband and took her to respite.

So today I will make the drive to my mom’s house without the screaming. Without the potty accidents. Without spending the entire 8 hour drive trying to figure out where we can seat a child in our van who finds ways to hurt people no matter what boundaries and consequences she receives.

My younger two girls will have a much-needed break from the intensity. And I will figure out how to rest again.

What a gift!

Have you ever left your child with special needs with a care provider when the rest of the family went on vacation? What was your experience?


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