Steve travels nearly constantly for his job and has racked up tons of hotel points and airline miles. He's always prodding me to go on vacation and has suggested Sea World in Orlando, which Audrey would love and which one would think I would be excited about. But one would be wrong. The thought of going on vacation fills me with mortal dread, and it's not just about flying. I think that most parents don't exactly look forward to flights with their kids no matter how "typical" or well-behaved they are. Every parent has to load themselves down with entertainment for the flight and shop for special surprises that they can bust out when interest in everything else they've lugged along has waned...usually about 5 minutes into the flight. The advantage of autistic kids under these circumstances is that there are some things that they will never lose interest in, and I am happy to indulge these fixations if it gets me to our destination without landing on the no-fly list. A fully-charge iPhone and DVD player would pretty much do the trick for Audrey.
No, it's the rest of the trip that I'm worried about. The part where we have to replicate every bit of our everyday lives, especially as regards Audrey's diet and supplement regimen. Because there's no vacation from that. Last summer we drove to Michigan for a weekend and I had to pack a cooler full of meds, supplements, and special foods for Audrey. How in the world could we fly somewhere? With the restrictions on carry-on liquids, I'd have to pack most of it in checked baggage. I picture me opening up my suitcase on the other end and finding all of my clothes awash in cod liver oil and fermented kefir. And Steve being more upset about the loss of the medicinal supplements than he is about the fact that all of my stuff is ruined. And me wanting to kill him for that. And us starting in on what will surely be one continuous fight for the duration of the trip. Aaaaah, I'm feeling more relaxed already.
Then there are the dietary restrictions. I wouldn't have to worry about packing food and having pellets of uncooked quinoa mixed in with my cod-liver-oil-and-kefir suitcase stew because as luck would have it...there is a Whole Foods just 10 minutes down the road from Sea World! Hurray! Now we can go grocery shopping and, because we will of course have a suite with a kitchen, we can cook all of our meals in the room and clean up afterwards and pack meals to go that we can bring to the park so that we don't have buy all of that nasty fast food and Audrey won't at all be upset to see all of the other kids scarfing down french fries and snow cones and pizza and ice cream and this is going to be the best vacation ever!!
One of these days I will suck it up for Audrey's sake. I will just have to remember to pack a few meds of my own.