I keep thinking about our recent (and first) family vacay to St. Louis. It had all the components a family vacay should have. It was the first time we had all – Eric’s girls, my boy – gone away for a weekend together…even throwing a couple boyfriends into the mix.
I have reflected a lot on the time, because my thought of what a vacation is has changed drastically with Kiran. A vacation is not relaxing for me. A vacation involves doing everything I do for Kiran’s care at home…but harder, because we aren’t home. It involves navigating inaccessible spaces and packing lunch bags full of syringes and trying to think about everything I could possibly need if we are out and about all day. It’s imperfect and messy and stressful…and when I get home from said vacation, I desperately need a vacation….
But it’s so worth it. Because we are out, living.
This particular trip reaffirmed that I need to stop feeling paralyzed about figuring out certain aspects of Kiran’s care. He’s getting bigger. Accessibility is a thing I need to concern myself with. Being able to travel and change his diaper (I’m going to buy a portable cot!) and have him sleep safely (air mattress with raised sides already purchased; pop up tent that fits on a mattress will be next step in a year or two)… all important things.
My number one priority is making sure Kiran does not experience life from a bubble. He is not going to sit on the sidelines. It takes some planning and some equipment, a lot of energy and some back-strengthening exercises …
But it’s worth it. He gets to be miserable with the rest of his family up in the hot, sticky arch in St. Louis, being herded around like cattle. He gets to be the one family member not disappointed in the new aquarium, because he really digs the electronic fish production happening on the ceiling of the lobby. He gets to skip naps and watch way too much football and lick ranch in every flavor off a french fry.
We are living. We are a family. It’s not easy, and I am so often exhausted and sore and overwhelmed. But I am grateful. And I would do it all over again, even crammed in the minivan with imperfect sleeping arrangements for Kiran and the prep it took every morning when I would have rather been sleeping in or enjoying sitting around. I’d take the syringe malfunction in the restaurant that was the last straw of a stressful, disappointing day…I’d take the tears in the bathroom when I excused myself to “change Kiran’s diaper”…I’d do it all again. Because it’s real. It’s life. We are living it.
I am so lucky to be living it with this amazing little boy. May I never forget.