Tag Archives: vacation

Vacation Without Dawson

by Cheairs, Redefining Typical

Photograph taken by my amazing sister Susan Lowe http://www.sflphotography.com

Mae Mae and I are on a two week vacation together. Laughing with friends, my sisters and their kids. The cousins are “putting on shows” and telling “potty jokes”. I am taking long walks and sweet naps. I feel the tension leaving my bones. I can breathe. My husband and Dawson are at home. Dawson can’t do long vacations. If he were here now I would be following him around a rental house as he turned on faucets and climbed in an out of all of the beds. There would be tension. Like the strings on a violin they would be strung tight. If you played the instrument the wrong way there would be a screech that would make you put your hands to your ears and squint your eyes.  If Dawson were here the orchestra would be out of tune.

The notes cannot be rewritten. They are set. I am okay with that. When Mae Mae and I return home we will have our own musical ensemble with Dawson and Dave. We will have different notes and sheet music. There will be moments in our performances that ring so sweetly and those that just sting.

So I miss my husband. I miss my little Dawsonator.

But I am so happy to have this time with just Mae Mae. She needs this time. She needs the sweet music to encircle her, and I need it to carry me. So I am happy.  I am sad. Like any good music you feel it.

So I hear…..the swirl of the creek, the laughter of children, and rain coming down on the roof. Being a part of this music now, in this special place for my vacation, it gives me the strength. When I return home I will be a stronger musician. I will be ready to be a part of my most unique and special jammin group. Our “Typical Band”  starring Dawson, Mae Mae, Dave and me.

And although our music sounds different than the sweet sounds here in this valley where I am now. It is because of this valley that I can hear and rejoice in the music that is my family and I love that.


Cheairs can be found at Redefining Typical. She writes about her most supportive and gentle spirited husband and their amazing, sweet, and fun-eight year old son Dawson who has autism and their ever moving, energetic, and peace loving six year old typically developing daughter Mae Mae.  She writes about their life: the joy, the sorrow, the triumphs, and everything in the middle. She is forever in the process of Redefining Typical.You can also find Cheairs at her Redefining Typical facebook page.

This post was originally published HERE and used with permission.



Filed under Remembering to Breathe

If I Can Make It There

by Megan, Little Wonder Boy

There’s a movement starting in the special needs community called The Oxygen Mask Project. The idea is based on the spiel we all have to listen to every time we get on a plane. Put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help your children, because if you go down, you can’t help anybody. For parents of children with special needs like autism, it can be so, so hard to do this, but it’s true. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we won’t be able to take care of them.I remember when I first heard about this idea, and I thought, that’s really smart. I’ll just stick that idea here, at the bottom of this really long list of crap I need to do. At the top of that list was my (ultimately losing) battle with my school district over changes they had proposed for my son Jonah’s special education program. For weeks, I wrote letters, yelled, pleaded, recruited, spoke at board meetings and lost sleep. In the end, I failed, and I ended up with a deep cough I can’t shake and a fantastically sexy psoriasis flare.I first developed psoriasis last year around this time. My type is caused by strep infections and/or stress. I had two strep infections within a few weeks of Jonah’s start date for special ed. Again, I wasn’t sleeping, I was sick with worry, and I was just plain sick. What can I say? I’m a slow learner. Here I am again, and this time I need to sit up and take notice of what my body is telling me. The problem is, I feel like a jackass, demanding a little “me time” when so much is going on. Yes, I have three young children, and two of them are twins and one of those twins is autistic. But is that enough? I mean, Jonah’s pretty high functioning. It could be a lot worse, and for lots of parents, it is. I feel like there are moms out there who adopt 14 severely disabled children and spend their days smiling and counting their blessings. I sort of feel like a whiny jerk, but I’m trying to squash that feeling down and make some changes.For me, it really helps to have something to look forward to. Something big. My friend Jim is starring in a play on Broadway this summer, and I have vowed to go see him. Someone asked me if I’d be taking my kids. Um, hell no, I’m not! Does schlepping three small kids through New York City sound like a vacation to you? I want to stay somewhere nice and sleep as late as I want. I want to catch up with old friends and drink wine and eat wonderful things and just shake out the kinks for one measly long weekend. I even like that it’s not until June. It gives me somewhere to go in my mind, when checking out mentally is the only reasonable option. I like the whole idea of looking forward to something. Of looking forward.


Megan is a microbiologist turned stay-at-home mom living in central Texas with her husband Corbin , her fantastic six year old Elena and her beautiful four year old twins (and partners in crime) Gabby and Jonah.  She writes a blog about parenting and autism at www.littleboywonder.blogspot.com

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Filed under Remembering to Breathe, Taking the next step