Henry is at summer camp this week. And I mean sleep-over summer camp. Yes, it's a big step for him and for us. There have been very few nights when he has been separated from both of us: last year when Jon took me on a lovely, romantic night to a hotel in downtown Minneapolis, and once five years ago when we went to Italy for our 10th annivesary, and Henry stayed with family.
You know -- for an autistic kid, Henry is really pretty flexible. He doesn't mind changes in the routine as long as you tell him about it in advance. He likes to do new things, especially if they are outdoor things or involve food of almost any kind. He also really likes people. I hope (I really hope) he likes camp.
My dad used to go to a bar that sold beer only, no hard liquor, and "set-ups": a glass of 7-up or tonic water or what-have-you. And the regulars had their bottles of liquor, labeled with their names, on a shelf above the bar. I was reminded of this at the camp yesterday while standing in the medical check-in line, and noticing that each parent had a large bottle of Miralax in tow for his or her kid. I pictured all of these bottles of Miralax on a shelf above the nurse's desk, and each kid coming forth with his juice, or pop, or milk -- the nurse settin' em' up so they could knock 'em back down.
I took Frieda on a walk downtown (Excelsior) with me today. We got a sandwich and a cookie at the local bakery, waded in the lake, played on the playground, then headed home. It was hot and we were both tired (we'd been up since 4AM when Frieda awoke from a bad dream and wouldn't go back to sleep), and I had to cajole her to keep going all the way back. By the time we got home, we were both pretty well fed up with one another.
It was a good reminder that parenting can be very trying with "typical" kids, too. Yesterday, my neighbor (a mom to four kids under the age of 10) said she needs a break -- just wants to go out to eat , then watch some "adult" (not adult-adult, but grown-up) movies and then go to sleep. Amen, sister. Hell to the yeah.