In St. Louis, my aunt will pick us up (AUNT REGINA, DON’T FORGET TO PICK US UP.) and we’ll head across the swollen Mississippi River to her very familiar home.
The next morning, my parents will walk through the door and my Rylie will forget who I am. I’ll leave Sunday morning to head back to GRR while my parents hit the road with Ry for Tejas. Exactly one month later, we’ll all meet in Pittsburgh for a family reunion and I will have to pry Ry out of the Sebeck truck to drag her back to Michigan.
My parents are amazing grandparents. Mom is a 2nd grade teacher (thus, off for the summer), Dad is retired military and now works at home as a mechanic. They have goats and tractors and pools and tents and puppies and horses and harmonicas. There is ice cream in the freezer and M&Ms in the cupboard. The kid has got some serious Summer fun ahead of her.
I’ve arranged for in-home speech therapy 3 times per week and my parents have found a local hippotherapy riding ring where Ry can continue her vestibular work while she’s away. My parents have taken Rylie for extended vacations over holidays since she was born. We talk to them by skype and phone multiple times a day. We’ve all spent weeks’ worth of time in the car together travelling. We are not strangers. In fact, I’m not sure Rylie understands that we actually live 1,000 miles apart.
This is the ONLY instance I would consider being in different cities with my girl. Her apraxia makes her expressively young, but internally I believe she has an incredibly old soul. She is social-savvy, she is independent, she is charming. It likely she has more friends than I do. And my parents know her well. The little things they DON’T know? Well, maybe they don’t need to know. Maybe she doesn’t need to come with a 4-page letter of instructions, warnings, and tips. Maybe- just for a minute– I need to not be her mom/advocate/interpreter 24 hours a day and she needs to just be a grandkid on the farm.
This will be our longest adventure apart by far… it’s just how it worked out logistically. I’ve no doubt I will suffer more than the child. Actually, I think the the first week will be fun. Less driving. Quieter dinners. Less emotional outbursts when socks are not appropriately applied to feet. One less carseat to unbuckle. The start of the second week will be a little weird, and then by Days 12, 13, & 14, I will likely spend a lot of time sitting on her bedroom floor crying because I am lonely and without purpose. The end.
Gus Man is going to be so incredibly sick of me by July, bless his little heart.
Do you remember you first big trip away from Mom & Dad?