Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Today has been so hard for me. Tyler and Madison are leaving in a few hours to go to California with their grandparents for Spring Break. They will be going to Disneyland for the very first time. They have been planning for this vacation for about a year, and the kids could not be more excited. It is so wonderful that Chris' parents are taking the time and spending the money to take the kids on a 10 day road trip. The four of them are going to have so much fun.....

Without me. I feel so heartbroken that this isn't something we are doing as a family. I have been trying to hold back tears all day. Disneyland- I want to be there to experience it with my kids. That's the way it should be! Its part of the American Dream! They will remember this trip for the rest of their lives and it feel sick that it's not with Chris, Jacob, and I.

But there is no way that we could afford it right now, and even if we could the real issue is that it would be impossible to do it with Jacob. The noise, crowds, lines, etc would be too much for him. And the irony is that he's the kid who loves all things Disney. Much more so than Tyler and Madison ever have. He would be thrilled to see his favorite characters in life-size and go on the rides. It would be like heaven for him, I'm sure. But at the same time, he would be in sensory overload and it would most likely be 4 days of tantrums and crying and frustration for him and for both Chris and I.

Jacob is seven next weekend. He's at the perfect age to enjoy Disneyland. But I doubt he'll ever go. Unless we had lots of help and extra hands, which is unlikely to ever happen. No one ever offers to spend time with Jacob. He's hard, I don't deny it, but he's a child and all children deserve to have fun and friends and room to run and play. He has none of these things. I know this is just the beginning of places and experiences that my other kids have that Jacob never will. I am mourning this so deeply right now. Part of it is for me- I wish with all my heart that we could do special things as a whole family together. Nearly all of the things that "normal" families do together- camping, movies, museums and the zoo- in our family all these activities are done either with just one parent, or with grandparents.

Greater than my own disappointment is the sorrow I have for my child. My little boy who has never read his first word or written his name. Never ridden a bike or played basketball in the driveway. Never been invited to a birthday party or play date or even had a friend. My son who will may never grow up. He doesn't even know what he is missing, but I do and I hate it.

I'm mourning the family I thought we would be. The places we would go and adventures I wanted to have. Disneyland is only the beginning. Tyler and Madison are going to keep growing up and living life and the gap between them and their little brother will get even wider. We will continue to have to choose if dad or mom goes along with them. Never the five of us together.

In a little while I'll send Tyler and Maddie out the door with a kiss and a tight hug and tell them to have lots of fun. Remind them to take lots of pictures and call me at bedtime. We'll blow kisses to each other as they drive away. I'll turn to Chris and ask him to hold me because he is the only one who truly understands how bittersweet this moment is. Then I'll go find Jacob and kiss his soft head and hug him if he will let me. And I'll finally be able to let go of the tears I've been building up all day.


AmberL said...

I don't even know what to say. I will not pretend that I know how you feel. Only that I feel your sorrow. You are an incredible woman and you have such a wonderful husband!

AmberL said...

Another thought....do they not have an Autism group that get to go to Disney every few years? When the park is closed?
How can we find this group?