Here I am, on my bi-weekly trek to the laundromat. My husband and I trade off this delightful task, making it slightly less unpleasant for each of us. Will I be happier when we own our home and can do laundry whenever we want, one load at a time? Perhaps, but I see it in a different light. Once every other week, I get an hour to sit in the sunshine and write, kid-free. Not only that, but I can cram seven loads into two large-capacity washers followed by four large-capacity dryers and get it all done for around $11.50. I don’t know yet what the costs will be once I’m running my own standard machines every single day for the rest of my natural born life, because I never bothered to calculate it when I owned my home before.
What am I trying to say?
That’s right. Kid-free. Important time for all of us, regardless of our child’s needs. It’s like hitting the reset button on your brain, only you also get clean clothes and sheets at the end. Bonus!
Isn’t this a blog about raising kids on the spectrum? Why is she rambling on about laundry?
Because sometimes even I get sick of talking about autism. Sometimes I want to talk about laundry pods and the fact that our laundromat now has free WiFi. Sometimes I want to type endlessly just to see who is listening. Sometimes daily household tasks are just that. And sometimes kids are just kids.
Last weekend, we enjoyed our annual respite trip. Two nights of rest and relaxation, and we played tourists an hour from home. We visited wineries, witnessed an elaborate and tear-inducing marriage proposal, met incredible people who just feel passion for life, hiked a gorge (my calves have finally recovered), took in countless views of Seneca and Keuka Lakes (two of the Finger Lakes), we finished our first night out with a bottle of wine on the sprawling front porch of the B&B, and we started our last morning there with our first cups of coffee.
To be able to recover and recharge has so many merits that I’m not certain I could list them all here. What I think that I can say to summarize is that when every single day takes energy that you may not always have, these annual weekends trips are crucial. It allows me to be a better ME. I can be a more attentive person at home and at work, in my marriage and in my writing. I am able to be better at stepping back and recognizing what is happening as a result of autistic traits/ADHD, and what might just be natural kid behaviors.
Huh. I guess it did turn out to be a post about spectrum life after all.
By the way, and this has nothing to do with this post other than Wonder Boy had a shining moment after a very challenging weekend, we were having a discussion yesterday as we left the house:
As I locked the front door, he said in a gravelly voice “I’m gonna lock you in the basement”.
“Sweetie, that’s not okay to say” was my reply as I hid my surprise- he doesn’t usually say things like that. “I was kidding! I promise”. “Okay, thank you for saying that”. “I understand, mommy. I’m sorry”.
What? You understand? You’ve just spent the week stomping your foot, folding your arms indignantly across your chest, and scowling at me, and you understand?
Interesting. Perhaps Wonder Boy found his reset button, too.