Guess who’s not dead!
We came home from our 12 day road trip to family in town and massive amounts of laundry and hosting a Father’s Day get together, so it’s taken me a bit to get with the program again.
I have a confession: Disneyland is not my favorite.
I’m practically a communist, right?
You see…I’ve only been 3 times.
Once was in 1984 when I tried to climb off Space Mountain when it was moving.
Once was in 2008 when Campbell did this the whole week:
And the third time was now. We did a slow paced first day where we didn’t even head to Disney until after lunch and things went well. (Other than a ticket window attendant on a power trip who was ready to have me arrested when I incorrectly stated that I was picking up tickets for 2 adults and 4 kids instead of 3 and 3, that is. Apparently 10 = an adult at Disney. Who knew?)
I was hopeful.
We got up the next morning and the kids got appropriately dorked out.
Some kids used the force.
And then we went to FastPass Star Tours (which made me break out in a “HOLY CRAP I’M GOING TO BE THE MIDDLE AGED LADY WHO BARFS” cold sweat, btw) and discovered that one of our tickets hadn’t been scanned at the gate that day. The sweet employee fixed the FastPass situation for us and told us to go to City Hall.
Strike 1 for Asperger’s/SPD.
When we got to City Hall, there was a long line.
Strike 2 for Asperger’s/SPD.
The lady at City Hall was super NOT nice and accused me of making up what was going on.
Strike 1 for Mom.
We then had to go back to the gates.
Strike 3 for Asperger’s/SPD.
This lead to strikes 2-40 for mom.
Mom-ing a kid with special needs is a balancing act. When do you cater to the Asperger’s vs. when do you make him do hard things? When do you push harder vs. when have you already pushed too hard?
The rest of the day went similarly.
We sat down for fireworks and BC took Bennett to the bathroom. Campbell lost it…LOST IT. There were too many people. There was too much noise. It had been a long day and he was done. He was rolling around on the ground and freaking out in a way that only other Autism parents have experienced/understand. And that is when a Disney employee came by and informed me that his head could not be on the ground.
I tried to get him off the ground and started to cry. I hate to cry. I don’t feel sorry for myself when it comes to being an Autism mom. I’m a religious person and I’m going to tell you that I KNOW that I agreed to be this kid’s mom before this life. I’ve been prepared for it. I’m capable of it and sometimes I’m even good at it. Disneyland is not important in the grand scheme of things. I know that. It’s not worth crying over. I know that. BUT, sometimes you just want to be able to do “normal” family things. Sometimes, when your kid has to write a paper for school about a time that her family had fun together, you want her to be able to think of something that didn’t involve her brother freaking out.
The sweet employee (whose name I did not get and I’m kicking myself about it because Mickey Mouse himself would be getting a letter about her) noticed and asked what was wrong. Through the tears I spit out “He has Autism and we’re doing the best we can.” She told us to wait there and disappeared. She came back with a guy named Brian who was busy on his walkie talkie and asked how many were in our party. I explained that there were 6 of us and that my husband was in the bathroom with another kid.
And then she told me that she, too, was the mom of a 6 year old with Autism. But guess what? Her husband couldn’t take it and he left. And she “got it”. She understood. And we both sat there and cried in the middle of Disneyland. And then she hugged me, and I didn’t even hate it.
Brian used his magical walkie talkie to get us reserved seats for the fireworks on benches right up at the train station, away from the crowds and the chaos.
And Campbell still freaked out.
And I still kept crying.
But, I was reminded that there are still good people in this world and my heart was full.
Maybe that’s the magic of Disney?