The warmth of the hot sun.
The smell of lilac and fresh cut grass.
Blue raspberry soft serve.
The sound of the ocean and the squeals of children trying to outrun the waves.
S’mores on Topsail Beach.
Walks after supper.
What’s not to love about summer?
It is the season I hate to love.
It is by far the most challenging season for me being an autism mom.
The routine of school is over. That, in itself, brings new challenges.
Tyson strives on routine.
But it’s more than just a change in routine that makes summer hard.
Summer is the time when social media is filled with all you lovely people making beautiful memories with your families.
And I think ever summer I grief a little for what summer should be for us. I want the hikes in the woods, the fires on Topsail Beach, the outdoor movies at Bowring Park, the fancy ice creams, followed by the sticky hands and faces.
I want it all.
I want to be so busy, that when I get home, I drop with exhaustion.
But we can’t do that. We have to plan our days carefully, making sure not to overwhelm Tyson.
We also don’t attend events that are busy because we know it will be too people-ly for him.
Going to Bowring Park and realizing they have a festival going on with a bouncy castle is enough to put me in panic mode because I know it’s not going to end well.
I guess this is why last summer was so great. We didn’t go anywhere because of the pandemic. There were no feelings of missing out because everyone was in the same situation as us.
The last couple of weeks have been a reminder of how things change for us in summer.
We went to Manuals River for a walk and kids were swimming. Tyson wanted to swim too. I am not cool with Tyson swimming at Manuals River. Note to self – avoid Manuals River until it’s too cold to swim.
We went to Chapters and Tyson got upset that I wouldn’t buy two copies of the same book that he already had at home. The lineup was huge. He dropped to the floor and kicked and cried while everyone stared at us. It was not a good day. Note to self – avoid Chapters during busy times.
We went to Lester’s Farms and I am not sure what happened. Tyson got upset and we had to leave. Note to self – don’t ever go to Lester’s Farms on a Sunday!!!
We went to Neil’s Pond for a walk and a certain person, that shall remain nameless, let Tyson put his feet in the water, with his sneakers on. The next walk around Neil’s Pond, he just ran right into the water with his sneakers on. If Tyson is allowed to do it once, he doesn’t get the idea that the may not be able to do it the next time. Tyson was mad for the rest of the walk that his sneakers were wet but would not turn around and go home. Note to self – find new walking area with no bodies of water. And don’t get me started about Topsail Beach – let’s just say I don’t go without wearing runners.
And then, there are all the other places we normally frequent, that are just more crowded in summer when the kids are out of school – Get Air, Axtion, and the parks that have splash pads. All are off the list on the weekends, or when the weather is super nice, or for the indoor places, when the weather is crappy.
It’s a fine balance between attempting to go somewhere and knowing when to stay home.
Summer is hard.
And it’s hard when you have an older child that wants to do all these things.
So, we divide and conquer.
One of us will often stay home with Tyson or we take two vehicles, so if Tyson gets to his limit, one of us can take him home.
It’s all about finding the balance.
And now Tyson is running again.
For those of you that are not familiar with this idea, I am talking about eloping. Elopement is a term used to describe when an individual leaves a specific area without permission. It is very common in autistic children.
I feel the definition does not give a good description of the actual event though. Picture this – at the moment you least expect it, your child takes off running, irregardless of the environment they are in, as fast as their little legs can run, which in Tyson’s case is very, very fast, with the adult frankly chasing behind. Picture busy roads, the exit door at Chapters, the school parking lot.
It can be terrifying.
In the last month, Tyson has run away from me probably 5 or more times. Sometimes the situation has been under control (like when on a trail), other times it has scared the living s$$t out of me.
Eloping makes you want to never leave the house again.
As all of you look forward to getting back to normal living, please remember us families, that are still living life in our backyards, where it is safe.
And if we happen to be brave enough to leave the safety of our nest and things are not going well for us, please be kind. We are just trying to soak up some summer too!
6 thoughts on “My Love Hate Relationship with Summer”
I read your post about summer and the experiences you have with your son Tyson. I am glad you wrote this. It does give people a good understanding of your life as a parent and the struggles you face.❤️
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Another beautiful blog it certainly gives a different perspective to others… I admire you so much your an awesome Mom xo..
This blog certainly shows what you and Mark do for your family day to day… You guys rock
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Thanks Lenora for the kind words. It is definitely a journey with lots of ups and downs but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
You are such a powerful writer. Thank you for sharing and educating. You are a wonderful mom. I am so touched by your writing.
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