Sunday 20 October 2013

Our Staycation

Dave and I got to enjoy a lovely weekend out ourselves thanks to the Quickstart Respite Program and my parents, who took the boys to their house for the weekend.

We stayed at the lovely Southway Inn on Bank Street.  The room was very comfortable and the food was good.

We brought some books and spent a lot of time reading with our iPods.  We went out to a movie.  We watched the inevitable Storage Wars marathon on A&E.  We got two nights of uninterrupted sleep.

It may sound rather pedestrian to some, but it was exactly what we needed.

I like how Dr. Phil puts it.  Parents often drain themselves dry to care for their kids under the best of circumstances.  Special needs parents tend to go well past the E on their internal fuel gauge.  But the best gift a parent can give their child is the best version of themselves.

It's easy to get tired and overwhelmed.  It's easy to look at the never-ending mountain of work to be done and insist on having to tackle it, telling ourselves that we'll do something fun later.

There are even logistical reasons to avoid taking care of ourselves.  Our kids often require specialized and experienced care.  Finding it isn't easy or cheap, which tends to discourage us from going out.

There are a hundred and one reasons not to do it.  But the one reason to do it outweighs them all: I can't give what I don't have. 

I need to have the energy reserves in place so that I don't break out crying at the fifth toileting accident in a day or end up yelling because the <insert profanity> Legos are all over the floor.  Again.

I gave myself the gift of slow time, of not feeling pressure to do anything.  We could have gotten dressed up and gone to dinner ... but we'd rather sit in the room and eat Harveys and watch a Castle rerun.  I could have gone swimming in the hotel pool ... but I'd rather read a romance novel.  I could have gone shopping for accessories for the boys' Hallowe'en costumes ... but instead, I learned valuable lessons about the business of buying abandoned storage lockers for fun and profit.  (Thank you, Storage Wars)

Opportunities can sometimes just mean more pressure and less time to relax. 

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