Jim and I just returned Thursday from a 5-day cruise without our precious boy. Dan turned 17 on July 5th while he was cruisin’ with Frontier Travel Camp and we are going to pick him up in New Jersey on Saturday.
Our cruise was a mixed blessing. It’s not so much what we did on the cruise that made it great: it’s what we didn’t do that made it great. We didn’t have to entertain Dan or worry about him spending too much time in the arcade. I didn’t do a single load of laundry. I didn’t make the bed. I didn’t cook. I wasn’t subjected to “What’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner?” every single meal for the entire week.
But on the other hand, my boy is gone - a foretaste of the empty nest we will experience when he leaves high school in 2 years. This week’s vacation from autism is a little different from the next one in October: he will be gone for a 10-day Postsecondary Education Rehabilitation Transition Program in VA while I am home every day, working at his high school (I’m off for the summer). Being on a cruise was pretty great. But being home, living my normal everyday working life without my son? The empty-nest soup might not be so tasty.
Still, I’m so very thankful for the respite, and for the man who has loved me for almost 25 years, and who will still be here when Dan is gone.