We decided to sneak in a family holiday with Uncle George and Baba "Grandma" before Jason's spring /summer construction season kicks off and consumes him. So we all boarded the plane and headed down for five nights on Niatross.
We couldn't have been any luckier with the weather considering just prior to arriving they had some torrential down pours and the day we left it threatened to saturate us as we loaded our bags in
the taxi. The day we arrived we decided to pull away from the dock and head to Snug Cove on Bowen Island. Its a lovely spot: isolated, quaint, nice yachtie facilities, scrummy unique restaurants, green grass etc....
The goal was to give Niatross a good scrub on this trip as she acquired some green hues as all boats do over the winter. She got her scrubbing and looked better for it. I thought we may go to a few different locations but it proved to be the best spot for all concerned.
As a first holiday or any holiday it couldn't have been any more stimulating and positive for little Miss Francis. She was just in her glory. It didn't start off that way however. After we got off the plane we all squeezed in a taxi to head to Niatross. I didn't even think about car sickness. Yes, unfortunately little misses projectile vomited numerous times. The more unfortunate part was we were only less than a km from the boat when it happened. So I was fearful for her that we had an additional 2-3 hour boat ride to follow the very same day. But to my delight and everyone else she was born with sea legs through and through.
She couldn't get enough of being outside. I had felt a tad guilty over the winter months that I hadn't gotten her outside enough and was concerned I was brewing an indoor kidlet. Well those concerns were
totally squashed after this trip.
She was giddy about going outside whether it was raining, 5am, dark, or whatever the case. She loved the dock, docks, boats, birds, stairs and of course sleeping with "Baba" and Pete the Cat. Her vocabulary increased to some two word combos, her understanding and love of boats and water was evident, she found the motion of the boat and challenge to stay upright entertaining and just what the whole boat had to offer was exciting. I think that Niatross presented to her like a personal play house with all its little spaces, low ceilings, close proximity's, and multiple sets of stairs. She was in her glory!
Funny story: when we got back to Vancouver Jason and Uncle George took Francis to the Aquariaum. I guess they took her to the dolphin show and one did the perfect flip and twist right in front of her nose and she didn't bat an eye. However, moments later a seagull flew down in front of her and she was totally attentive! I guess she also had no interest in the fish but THE STAIRS! Wow fabulous! LOL ....Another good lesson for the parents! What we think is the best plan for our kidlets is not necessarily what they will think!
Unfortunately it wasn't so much the case for Little Mr Man. Each time we go on a holiday I'm hopeful that it'll be a good one for him. He ended up regurging food up into his nose which is an ongoing issue but it seemed more the case on the boat. Then it turned into another sinus infection that seems to be resolving itself. However, the sinus issue created a very poor sleeping schedule for Alistair. In addition, his bowels were out of sync. He fortunately didn't get constipated but his regular ways were not the case and when those bowels of his decide to create an issue they are AN ISSUE. Like I said I was hopeful that this would be the great family trip but the change of schedule and routine just threw him off terribly. So trust me when I say when his routine is messed up ours is too in a big way ESPECIALLY when we are four adults and two kids on a 48 foot yacht. Each night he was up a little earlier and he let everyone he knew that he was up early. The first night it was 4am then it was 3 am then it was 2 am and the last night he was up at midnight! ACK. The problem is he doesn't just hang out and chill he either giggles hysterically and aggressively or he screams bloody murder! Jason slept beside him for most of the nights and I took a turn the last night. Sleepless nights makes challenging days.
On the positive side, the boat couldn't be any better of a holiday for Alistair in many respects. First, the boat has the perfect bed arrangement. He could either sleep in the bow or stern and the hull itself makes the ideal contained space. Secondly, everyone is in close proximately so Alistair was always in the middle of the action. Thirdly, he did enjoy the outdoor aspect in the sense that he got a tone of fresh air and outdoor exposure again with everyone right at his fingertips.
Honestly if the kid had been able to sleep the whole experience would have been different but who in their right mind can function during the day without sleep at night?!?!
We actually had revolved this trip around one of Alistair's appointments. This time we were down for some new splints. They are gorgeous and worth the time in waiting it takes to get them. Serap at Orthodynamic takes such pride in her work and it truly is evident. Plus I love that she puts the personal touch of design into them to keep it individual and not so patient focused.
Anyhow, back to the trip.....Mom said perhaps this is a good experience for all for a variety of reasons. Or an experience that will help for positive progression of what the family needs and what we need to accept in regards to our little Alistair and the family as a whole. Both Jason and I find it hard to swallow that we shall be going on "family" holidays without our little man. Actually we still are not swallowing that possible reality. It truly kinda hurts to be honest. It made me teary on the holiday that this wasn't a true success bringing him with us. It actually made us long for home and not enjoy the holiday on the water like we really should have/could have. Everyone with experience in this situation can tell us till we are blue in the face that this is the best for all. Trust me I've talked to many seasoned warm loving families of special needs kids and they all advise to access respite in the near or more like it present times. "Its better for your son", "Alistair will have a holiday in his own way within respite", "Your daughter needs this time with you as well", "You will be able to have holidays that you otherwise could not if your son went with you", "You need to do this for you"....and the list goes on. Its funny really as I can spout out all these things to other parents but when it comes to my own family bubble it really is a hard one to swallow. We feel that we should change our expectations in life to fulfill the life that Alistair has been provided. I think we've done a pretty dang smack up job of that on a daily basis but when it comes to holidays it just doesn't cut it. The change of pace and routine which we love just throws him into a complete tizzy.
So I did have a goal last summer of looking for that or those perfect individuals that you would be willing to have watch your child with special needs. Even for short term ie. 3-6 hours so say we could take Francis for a hike or kayak. But then he had that terrible month of seizures and that goal got thrown out the window. So now I've been motivated again to consider this goal. It has to be done. Fortunately, I have a couple leads which I'm so thankful for as that's another factor. Alistair can't speak to keep me informed if things are going about as we would like. Mind you he can provide some strong indicators. Plus we can't higher the sweet little 12 year old down the street that has taken all the right courses. They need to be physically and mentally capable to look after a young fella that is physically very demanding as well as having his medical challenges.
Then of course there is the other side where you want them to make it an enjoyable time when he's out. So all those factors makes the search pretty specific. Anyhow, I'm going to make some moves to go in that direction this month. It may be numerous years before we can go on a several day holiday and leave Alistair in respite with peace of mind. However, if we start now perhaps the reality in the not so distant future will be doable.
So ya that's it. There is always something significant on the list to do with Alistair but like I've said many a times. I stay motivated as I really want this life of mine to be enjoyable for me and the ones close to me as we only get one life to experience (in my opinion). So it may as well be a good one.
|Can life get any better?!?!|
Wrestling Match CLICK HERE
Sea Legs CLICK HERE
In the cockpit CLICK HERE