This past week we took an unexpected road trip up to Michigan. Not unexpected in the fact that we had actually planned the travel or quite some time now, but our method of transportation changed at the last minute.
Allow me to explain.
You see Addie your Uncle Bones (or daddy’s baby brother Tony) was getting married. A very exciting time for our family, and an event we surely wouldn’t dare miss!
While most families that may be headed on such a trip may take a week or two to prepare appropriate outfits for weather and/or events, for us it can be a little more complicated.
You see Ad, so much of our life is looking at a scenario and contemplating every possible outcome of how everything could possibly go from good too bad. I haven’t found a crystal ball just yet! Frustrating enough, for every decision we make, there are always people that will tell us we should’ve done it a different way. We’ve learned it just comes with the territory and try to remember those suggestions of what we “should’ve done” are always with good intentions. But please know Addie, with all choices we make for you or this family, I promise they are carefully thought out with the best interest for everyone involved.
Having said that, while we were very blessed to have had the opportunity for a practice run on an airplane and navigating the airport, an increase in agitated behavior in the recent months had us thinking differently about flying to Michigan, and we returned our wishful thinking airplane tickets and prepared for the 13 hour drive up north.
We’ll get on that plane one day Ad, I promise! Until then, Michigan wedding festivities here we come - road trip style!
Now I must admit Addie, you were by far the happiest person on this road trip. Literally stimming and bouncing the whole 13 hours! Let me reiterate the bouncing, I don’t think you were ever sitting still. While the struggle continues with potty training, wearing a pull up and a pack of Gatorade sitting on the seat beside you, made for our first adventure.
One too many (small) bottles of Gatorade and when we stopped for gas I went to unbuckle you to make a potty stop and realized you had bounced wet gel pee pee beads from your pull up all over the back seat, up your back, in your hair and just everywhere! Cleaning this was almost as bad as cleaning the washer after accidentally washing a diaper, which I hate to admit has happened to me more than once. In case you were curious, those beads don’t dry, they stay wet, gummy and squish right down into the tiny pinholes of the leather seats. Oye.
As if the beads weren’t bad enough you also busted open a whole Pringles container and stomped chips into the carpet. I thought the van had smelled like potato chips, but then I thought perhaps I was hungry :). With Clara and Gabe basically bringing a bedrooms worth of blankets and pillows along, the chip explosion on the floor was blocked from our view up front. Surprise!
Are we having fun yet?!? You sure were!
Back on the road and now, and about 30 minutes out from our destination, our next surprise arrived! Clara started coughing then proceeded to vomit on the floor of the van.
Insert car sickness - check!
We finally made it, but not without destroying the van first (no worries - it all cleaned up and everyone was fine). I truly had never been so happy to get out of the car!
All settled into Michigan it was time for the festivities! First up, rehearsal at the church.
Knowing your auditory sensitivities in acoustically challenging environments like churches, we expected a little fussing, but seeing it was family and friends we were all in at giving it a go and pushing through any challenges.
Addie this church was the most beautiful church I had ever seen! Simply stunning! You walked in and immediately started in with your latest phrase of “it’s so dark!” In a volume perhaps the church wasn’t accustomed to hearing - repeatedly. You immediately removed your socks and shoes (sigh) and settled in to the pew. Comfy Ad?!
Ok all good, no melt downs.
I may have spoken to soon...
Cue a baby making the smallest of cries and you were instantly in auditory distress. Screaming at the top of your lungs, repeatedly. Insert you and I now making our way to the hallway for the remainder of the rehearsal. It was a good try Ad.
Knowing a restaurant dinner was next with all the people at the church, we knew this wasn’t going to be an isolated incident, and after much discussion with daddy we thought it’d be best to take you back to nana and papas where you happily drifted to sleep resting up for the big day tomorrow.
After a good night’s sleep, the day had finally arrived! Wedding day! Kudos to Michigan who didn’t disappoint and ordered up some absolute perfect weather! Knowing the stresses of the church the day before, we decided it’d be best for you to be there just for pictures after the ceremony. So we worked out a plan and nana and papa happily arrived with you then.
You rocked right through pictures before inevitably getting upset so I once again took you out where we were the previous day. This is when I was surprised by a parishioner who decided to yell at you for being too loud and then proceeded to yell at me because of the way you were acting! Addie these are the times when I wish I had something amazing and thought provoking to say to people for their rude behavior, but instead I apologized and stated you had autism before ultimately taking you outside. It’s always troubling to me that we continue to try and teach you to control your emotions and coping, yet there are grown adults that lack such.
With a little decompressing time (for you and me at this point) between the wedding and dinner, you were all smiles again and ready to join the party.
You wasted no time collecting everyone’s forks and knives (you find like objects anywhere and can’t help but gather them together) before feasting on salad, lemons, a cup of ranch dressing, ice and maybe a peanut butter cup or two ;).
So Addie, we had an eventful weekend, some good, some bad, but it ended with you dancing (or jumping rather) on the dance floor and welcoming a new, amazing, beautiful, loving Aunt into our family.
It was a lot to take in baby girl, but you did it. Great job.