We have just returned from a week of family vacation. Notice, I did not put the word "vacation" in quotes, as I have done for the last seventeen long, LONG years. I am not going to lie and tell you it was nothing but fun in the sun and relaxing from morning to night, followed by peaceful, restful sleep. No. But I will tell you that nobody killed each other, nobody had a meltdown, and there were a lot of laughs. We successfully went out for "dinner" (4:00 PM) twice. We had a lot of togetherness and periods of finding our four corners of the small rental house, and doing our own individual versions of stimming.
We rented the same house in Sunriver that we rented last year. Our trip last summer was successful enough that we thought we'd have another go of it. Plus, there was this: The Landing:
Pardon my creepy shadow in the picture, and just drink in the glory of "the landing," which in fact is a two-part landing, as you can see. Wil has talked incessantly for a year about the landing, and how he cannot wait to get back to Sunriver where he can hang out with Flicka and Elmo, and enjoy the landing. From the landing one can see whatever someone (STM) is watching on TV. From the landing one can still have his finger on the pulse of whatever is happening upstairs, as well as in the kitchen. Really, it's pretty much all about the landing.
As I was racing around the house like a mad woman the morning we were to leave, Wil was extra janked because of his anticipation over the landing. I had less patience, more to do, and he was doubly loud and extra annoying. I was an inch away from throttling him, when he said in the sweetest, most sincere voice imaginable, "Care, I know this is a lot of work for you, but you're successing."
Check in wasn't until 4:00 and we weren't even guaranteed our house would be ready before 6:00, none-the-less, Wil had us all on a tight 8:00 AM departure schedule for the four-hour drive to Sunriver. Because I've played this game before, I did think to call ahead and request an early check-in. They said it was their busiest season, and that was unlikely, but request I did. I am happy to say that after getting over to Central Oregon and killing time, they called and said we could have our house at 2:30. Some people win lotteries, I win early check-ins.
We got to the house, and the landing, and Wil quickly moved on to his next item on the agenda: The Pool.
Last year I could only get him in the baby pool (one-and-a-half-feet deep). We'd get there the minute the pool opened, and would leave after a couple babies came. I would have to sit right by the side and talk to him the whole time, dying a thousand deaths. I have spent the better part of this last year telling him that seventeen-year-olds can't go in baby pools, and that he would have to go in the "big" pool. I then assured him for a solid year, that the "big" pool was only four feet deep at its deepest, and he was now six-feet tall, so there, do the math, two feet of him, at least, would be above the surface at all times, if necessary.
Our first morning at Sunriver he and I rode our bikes over to the pool, and were there when they opened at 10:00 AM. He didn't hesitate. He got in that pool just like he'd done it a million times.
He then spent the next two hours walking around singing to himself. Only three other boys were in the water, and they were in the "deep" end and mostly not even in the water, but chatting in lounge chairs. Wil would talk to me periodically, and then report what the next ten songs were going to be that he was going to "sing." He'd get to about song four and then ask for the next one. There was no way on God's green earth that I could remember ten things successfully, let alone ten songs I cared nothing about.. Finally, a super nice man from the couple that had been watching and listening the whole time piped in, "'Rumor Has It,' by Adele. That's the next song." He wasn't the least bit perturbed. He was into it. We struck up a conversation and then spent the next hour happily talking about music and kids and lives and such.
For the next four mornings all of us got to the pool when it opened, and as the week went on the pool got busier and busier and busier. Wil still happily walked around in the water humming and singing for up to two hours in a row without getting out.
On our fourth day at the pool we moved our lounge chairs into the grass, so we could tie Flicka up right outside the fence, where she could see us and we could come give her lots of pets. That dog does not appreciate being left home alone, especially when we're in a strange house. There was a couple also in that area, already at 10:00 AM, and since we were the only ones over there, we struck up a conversation. Well, you know how when you find out you're from the same town/college/etc. you start asking, "Do you know the?" It was unbelievable. Literally, every single question one of us asked, the answer was, "Yes!" We probably knew 20 people in common, at least, we had neighborhoods in common, schools, friends of friends, on and on the list went, I was even a sorority sister of the gal's sister.
STM and Wil had been playing with the Nerf football in the pool, and Wil ripped the end off of it in a moment of lack of impulse control. When we got back from the pool, we squeezed all the water out of it, put it in the sun to dry. Later STM asked me to play a game of catch with him. If STM were married to his dream woman, they'd play catch hours a day and she'd be really good. I am not that woman. For 27 years he's been trying to teach me to throw and to catch, even attempting to teach me how to give it a spin. I was working my tail off trying to figure out how to spin the ball properly, what with the hacked off end and all, and honest-to-God, I could not figure out how to do it so the pointy end went first.
"Just turn it around," STM said.
I was so focused on getting my hands around the "laces" that I seriously, could not compute how to get the "right" end facing him, too.
We had a good laugh about it, but then STM said, "That's how Wil feels all day, every day."
Wil, I know everything is a lot of work for you, but you're successing.