But we still go through the "What would you like for...?" motions. I'm not sure why. We've been together for fifteen years now. What can I say? The Kiddo isn't the only one around here who likes his routines. On the night of the fourth sick day in a row with the Kiddo and looking ahead to another week off for Spring Break on top of that, Daddy Fry made the mistake of noting it would be my birthday soon and what would I like for it.
All I could think of in that moment was SILENCE. I wanted gobs and gobs of silence. I wanted no responsibilities. No one asking me for a thing. No one touching me. I wanted 24 hours to myself. I wanted to run away from home. However, I didn't want to say it.
Correction, I didn't want to admit it. I wanted to be a pillar of strength because I'm Eileen "Mama Fry" Shaklee and I'm supper autism mama and Aw feck it, I'm so freaking tired. I need a break. Mama Fry would be calling out another mom for pulling this medaling for martyrdom crap. I needed to advocate for myself. SO I DID!
I asked for a night alone in a hotel BY MYSELF! (You hear that? That's the sound of multiple moms saying "OH HELLS YEAH!")
And seeing as I was smart enough to marry a guy like Daddy Fry, that's exactly what happened. He replied "Well Hell, I've been wanting to do that myself." So we quickly agreed he would do the same next. Autism dads need breaks too. I whipped out my laptop and started searching for deals. Found one pretty cheap and booked it before Daddy Fry could change his mind. :-)
And it was everything I needed it to be.
A week later I found myself checking in BY MYSELF without an autism mom bag in tow. I packed just for me! I KNOW!
Front desk staff:"What brings you here today?"
Me:"I'm an exhausted autism mom and I'm running away from home."
Front desk staff:"Guuuurl, I hide from my kid in the bathroom all the time. I got you!" and she upgraded my room. It's safe to say that woman became my new BFF as she performed her own personal brand of giving to the autism community.
You see that king size bed? I slept in the middle of it. Splayed out like a starfish.
Look at the nice children playing. Get the sand all over kids. I don't have to clean any of you up!
I took myself to dinner to a place that I didn't have to consult prior to make sure there was acceptable sensory friendly food. I took my time eating. I didn't have to play court jester to keep a Kiddo entertained.
This was immediately hung on my door by 7PM. I was tempted to take it home with me.
Pajamas, ridiculous facial mask, and magazines. Once, twice, three times a happy lady.
Did I forget about all things autism and my family? No, but it's amazing what some time to yourself can do for your mental well being. I actually thought about my son a lot while I was on my little getaway but not in the obsessing over stupid little dopey shit way. I found myself thinking of the things I was grateful about. I even thought about the not so good stuff but instead of dwelling on the "It all sucks!" vibe, I tried to think of some new ways to approach things.
I know this is not a thing that every mother can do for herself. Maybe running away from home can only be just running away for a cup of coffee by yourself. Fries, if we crack the whole foundation goes down with it. We MUST take care of ourselves. No one wins an award for most stoic.
I had grand plans for sleeping in but course, my Kiddo trained body clock had me up at 6:30AM. I found myself kind of eager to get on the road and go home anyway. I was missing my guys. I had gotten what I so desperately wanted but what I needed more was my family. So I packed up and headed back. After a ridiculously long hot shower and two cups of coffee from the in room coffee machine of course. (I mean, I missed them but they weren't going anywhere.)
Silence and sleep. Best beauty/mental health treatment around!
I know this won't be a thing I can do all the time but at least now it's something in my memory bank. So when it's a craptastic day I can close my eyes and remember it. A mental vacation I can pull out as needed when I'm ready to pull the hair out of my head.
Daddy Fry, it's your turn. Go book it. :-)