Annual trip.

We just got back from our annual vacation with our friends. It’s a great, week-long trip of enjoying our friends, new cities to explore, and no kiddos. I always feel very guilty in leaving the monkey. I know he’s a lot of work and I don’t feel very comfortable doing that. But like every year, my amazing 19 year old daughter, my sister, and parents step up and help out.

And like most things with the monkey, it’s pretty complicated. We hired one of my husband’s students to come to our a house for five hours each morning. She’d be here with my 84 year old mother in law. But the student’s only job was the monkey. To make sure he doesn’t bolt outside when the door is opened, make sure he doesn’t try to jump the rock wall, or make sure, with his excitement, he doesn’t hurt the dogs. You know, typical things from our autism household.

After that my parents would take over for about five hours too. I know having my son all day is a lot of work for them because they get tired quicker. This is why we decided a few hours with the young student would help my parents out.

After that, my parents would take him to his weekly therapies. Then my sister would take over for the evening. My daughter had asked to take two days off so she’d only need help for three days. Since she goes to school and works, she wouldn’t be able to take care of the monkey during the weekdays.

It’s not easy to take away the guilt of leaving the monkey, knowing what a handful he is. But I also know that the success rate of marriages with special needs kids is low. We need to take care of ourselves too in order to take care of our family.

I know I’m beyond blessed to do this. To get away and be able to have people that I trust take care of my son. I know how lucky I am. I know how many don’t have this luxury. And I am beyond grateful for this.

As we expected, the monkey struggled a little with the change of routine. A stranger was in the house and mom and dad weren’t here. But overall he did pretty good. He did get frustrated when he would give the keys to the student hoping for a ride and she wouldn’t take him. (Maybe because she doesn’t have a license.) Or give the iPad to my mother in law to help him unlock it and she wasn’t able to help. But he got better as the days passed.

When we were packing to leave, my daughter said, “Now remember. We got this. You go enjoy yourself for a few days. You deserve this. Don’t worry about us.” ❤️ And how does one say thank you to that? ♥️

Today, when my daughter picked us up, the monkey barely looked at us. He was consumed on his iPad that he didn’t acknowledge us. But now that we are home, settled in, he’s been kissing and hugging me non stop. My mom says he was mad at us for leaving. He probably didn’t understand why we left and questioned if we were coming back.

Maybe.

But right now, I’m just glad we got his smile and hugs back. ❤️

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