Meet Ricky the newest member of the gang. He’s made an appearance before when he started burying his nuts in the lawn over winter. But now he has started coming for his lunch. Happily feasting next to the birds. He (or she) will be a welcome friendly face going forward.

We are just over a week from the start of the summer holidays. Six weeks of immersing myself in our son’s world. It truly is a privilege. A wonderful mind trip. Happy parent.

I bumped into a parent from his current school. They have the holiday mapped out. Immediately they break up they are going to a music festival for the first weekend. Then the kid is going on a football course for the first week. Then they fly out for a two week beach holiday in a popular Spanish resort. They come back and then the kid is off camping with the scouts. A couple of trips to fun parks and family barbecues are then followed by a family week in Paris Disney.

Asperger/Autism summer holidays can be very different to this. Ours is. For a start we are limited by finances. Our summer holidays are long periods of house lockdowns briefly punctuated with carefully selected trips to places without crowds. This means early day trips to places like Zoos – trying to cram as much in as soon the venue opens and leaving as soon as the crowds start to build. For his favourite zoo that means arriving at 9am and probably leaving around 10.30am. Trips to the cinema will be to the 8.30am screenings. Locations will be carefully planned so that he feels comfortable there. Walks will be in very remote and largely unvisited areas.

A trip to Switzerland would have been an option (he is comfortable there and the journey is familiar having done it a few times) but we just can’t afford it. Plus he is more comfortable going during quieter periods – April/October. And we haven’t tried it since his mum left us – will it ever feel the same.

So our summer holidays will be quiet and largely cut off from the outside world. That would worry me in the past. The real danger of becoming increasingly introverted over those weeks and losing any social confidence which I had struggled to build up. This year it doesn’t really bother me. Yes I might become more introverted but its not as if I have a full social diary. Introversion and isolation is the new me. I can focus on our son and see what adventures we can weave – I’m sure Ricky will play some part as well.

75 thoughts on “Ricky

  1. I agree with Bruce, I’ve never needed to have every minute planned with activity.
    A couple of fun things I like to do with Ben that cost nothing are a blanket fort in the living room and a camp out in the back yard. Maybe invite Ricky to join the camp out?😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This and the last several posts have left me very impressed with the way you consistently a) advocate for your son, and b) raise awareness about children and adults on the spectrum and their unique needs. You’re doing a good job. Keep it up!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You are such an amazing father. Also, you are on a healing journey so it’s natural to be introverted and needing to have time alone with your son to recoup and rebuild from a very big event. I think you are doing an awesome job.

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  4. Awwww … Ricky is adorable!!! And frankly, your summer holiday sounds much more relaxing and fun to me than that of the wealthy jet-setters! I do not envy them one bit! Enjoy! Make memories in your own world with your son. They will be just as meaningful as memories at Paris Disney would be!

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      1. Actually, I meant any of the Disney parks, or any amusement park for that matter, but I’m sure it could apply to parts of both our countries. Especially any big city. Where you live, I doubt it applies, for I see in your pictures open, peaceful space.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Irish schools finish a whole month before yours. And the kids get booked into camp after camp. I guess the parents need someone to mind them while they work.
    Not ours though. Our summer will be like yours. Minus the getting up early.
    Thank God for social interaction via internet, right? You can have friends without leaving the house.

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  6. Ricky’s adorable.. and he looks pretty fit too. You should ask him his fitness tips? 😉

    Your holiday plans sound very advisable. I can foresee the two of you having a great time together without the need to stress out over too much ‘stuff’ or getting stuck in holiday traffic or crowds. it’s a great feeling travelling in the opposite direction to where masses of holiday-makers are trying slowly to get to! 😉 Get creative! 🙂

    I suspect a Swiss trip might best be left a little while longer, so as to avoid too many grief traps. Emotions, like the mountains, run very high there!

    And i suppose i have to congratulate you and the English Cricket team for playing so well in the ICC World Cup Semi-final, the less said about which, the better! 😢

    Liked by 1 person

      1. May the best team win!

        ( I suppose, being born in Staffs i should be barracking for England, but the truth is my heart just won’t be in it!) 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Man United are touring here for 10 days currently – they play Leeds U on Wednesday at our new 60,000 seat stadium!!
        Can’t afford the tickets! 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I thought i had more time than i had for last week’s poem!

        I will take ‘bedpost’ on board for this week. 😉

        Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is: Antediluvian !

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Holidays with a child with extra needs are always tough. There were so many things that we couldn’t do with Simon. Roller skating was a no-no, camping was a no-no. It made life difficult when there were 3 other children to consider too. Enjoy the outside and make the most of any sunshine that we may get. Totally understand how tough it is though on your own.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure. We live near Philadelphia and I think for Declan’s birthday he wants to see the Liberty Bell and all the history around it. May do that instead.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Whatever you end up doing, I really hope you both have a winderfuk hokuday time together Gary. It sounds good to me, with no pressure antwhere. You are a fantastic parent Gary. I admire yiu. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. If I had to choose between either of those holidays,, I would choose yours. Well maybe not the early mornings, but if that means avoiding the crowds, I can see why you do it. The other one sounds really stressful. I’m not talking about the money or cost of things, but the type of school holiday. I hope you have a wonderful time 🙂 These are things that your son enjoys with the least stress possible and you never know, you might meet one or two friendly faces on your days out.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. There is NOTHING wrong with quiet holidays. We would have loved some time in the North Woods with the kids, yeah, but like you said, money’s going to talk, and Bo’s job means he’s on call every weekend this summer. It’s such a bummer your public school system has no sort of summer class system; granted, I don’t know if every American state has free summer school, but I’m thankful our town does, because those few morning hours at school really got the kids’ creative juices flowing. Now with them home all day this month it’s a matter of encouraging them to get back to their pencils and paper–so far, I’ve been pretty successful, knock on wood. Maybe your son can start drawing his own comic! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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