21 April 2011

We made it home without a hitch. It is after nine in the morning and Julia is still sleeping. She needs it. Badly. Although we had time yesterday to sleep in and take our time all day, Julia did not relax for a minute. She even told me that when we got home she was going to stay up all night. Not defiantly, but with great enthusiasm.

None of that happened. We got home, got everything inside, she changed into pjs, brought Lizzy into our bed and was out in a matter of minutes. I was not far behind.

After the upheaval of Monday, Tuesday was very pleasant. The dull pain remained but Julia and I really did enjoy the Magic Kingdom. It was a repeat for her (she and Cheshire visited on Friday) and the park was incredibly crowded, but we took our time, and used our handicap pass to its full advantage. The pass is excellent for wheelchair users, but not really set up well for kids on the spectrum. There are still lines and crowds and noise. I don't know if there is any alternative -- I mean Disney has long lines, crowds and is full of noise. We could not have even tried this visit last year. Ear plugs and head phones made it bearable, but I wouldn't recommend it for many kids on the spectrum. Or many kids with ADHD that was not well controlled.

It was also a bit difficult being with so many families. All those couples got to me after awhile. And all those normal kids did too. But the magic did get to me. At the Animal Kingdom, the Loin King show made me miss performing, and the lazer light show and fireworks at the Magic Kingdom made me happy. I am who I have always been and I do believe in dreams coming true and magic happening. It was very nice to leave on that note.

Julia was generally very well behaved. Some moments:

She does talk to everyone! I don't think that I should stop it. I think she learns from at least some of it. She engaged a mother and daughter in conversation as we bussed back to our hotel on the last night. The little girl, who was 7, fully engaged with Julia. When I see kids do this (Amy's daughter is the same way), I want to bottle it! I want to understand what makes some kids willing to put up with Julia's differences which some adults find charming or fascinating, but which really is different from other kids. I want to take names, addresses, and phone numbers down, so we can have repeats of those experiences.

Julia loves Lizzy the T-rex. Lizzy was talked about, shown off, and played with all trip home. She cannot wait to show Lizzy to her therapists over the next few days. I have the feeling she may be going to school on Monday, but I will be the one suggesting it. I had been planning to take her to the build-a-dino store since I discovered it, but really had no idea of how much fun Julia would have.

Funniest moment on the plane yesterday was helping Julia read the in flight shopping guide. She learned the words "snoring termination" and "shoe inserts" and a few others that were laughably hard to explain. Although I brought a few work and reading books with us for the trip, I did not take them out once. I let Julia play and color and draw and play with her leapster during her free time time. She did chose to play the 1st grade games on her leapster along with petpals, and she chose to pick up various things and read them. She wanted to push all of the numbered buttons at appropriate times, and numbers were included in some of our conversations. These may read as such ordinary happenings, things that I would not have even commented on if I was writing about Cheshire at this age. For Julia, is in progress.

I look at other kids her age, and seeing a wide range of them over the past week, I plainly see the hill we are climbing. The hill is there. We are climbing it together.

On the long drive home -- an hour plus a bit more from Milwaukee -- last night, I wondered about home. I have been mulling over the grand renovation -- investing heavily in a house that I may/may not stay in. No answers here, just mulling. I really like Madison but my roots are appallingly shallow here. But then, I don't feel like I have roots anywhere. Just baggage. Lots of baggage. I cannot close into myself for too long because if I do, there small society around me could disappear. I appreciate the support of friends a great deal, but also feel the burden of being alone. I have grown so accustomed to partnership, that standing on my own seems more than unnatural. This morning I realize that I am still getting through each day the best I can. Last night, part of me was still waiting to come home to someone.

I hear little feet. They are coming downstairs!

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