Sometimes it's tempting to just stay home on the weekends. I might get to read part of a book. Or I can leisurely drink a cup of coffee (well, as leisurely as that can be with a kid screaming Mommy Mommy at me). However, we are making an attempt to do new things with the kids, more than we usually do. So today we took a 1-hour drive up to Idyllwild (sp?) for the Butterfly Festival. It isn't Ben we worry about (it used to be). It's Elliott. He can't handle new events very well. He doesn't like the driving, the new people, the noise, the sensations, etc. But we can't just keep him at home. That wouldn't be good for him. So we load up his favorite snacks and his favorite movies. We take deep breaths, and we try to be as optimistic as Ryan and I can be.
Yes, Elliott screamed. He also threw-up because of the winding roads. He didn't appreciate his ears popping after we passed 3000 feet. By the time we got there, he was a smelly, unhappy mess. He was mostly cranky the whole time, punctuated by moments of happiness--climbing a rock, noticing a small waterfall and ravine, coloring a butterfly mask.
Ben had a fantastic time. He got to hold a butterfly and made a really intricate mask and necklace in the shape of--you guessed it--a butterfly.
The screaming began to disrupt the 3-piece-Jerry-Garcia-covering band and its listeners, so we had to take off before the release of the butterflies, but, hey, we did something new, and that was the only goal.
So I guess the message here is, we can stay home and feel sorry for ourselves that it takes too much effort and stress to get an autistic kid out of the house. Or we can just forge ahead and do it and have the best time our family can have. Because screw those other families, with their non-screaming, non-throwing-up kids. They aren't nearly as interesting as mine is.