Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well and having a good week. Today I want to talk about vacations. Vacations are a different experience in my family with Cate and I am sure many of you also have experienced it.
Currently I am in Montana with my dad to hike through Glacier National Park while my mom and Cate are at home. In my family, one of my parents and I will go on a vacation together and then the whole family goes on one together too. Vacations are really hard as a whole family as we have to make sure they are Cate friendly. A Cate friendly vacation includes constant sound and entertainment, no judgement for how loud she yells, not much travel, a wheel chair accessible location and plenty of pasta. As well as a vacation being Cate friendly, my family has also had to deal with the challenge of Cate hating to travel/leave the house as she has gotten older. It has gotten to the point where a 10 minute drive down to CVS turns into a full blown screaming temper tantrum, so you could imagine how taking a far trip would be. (Side note: I will talk about temper tantrums another time in the future). As Cate travels terribly in the car, we do not think an airplane could be an option, so our options are limited as a whole family.
As I got older Cate friendly vacations were not my ideal vacations because I wanted to travel farther than we could drive without it being a disaster, and also do things that were not wheelchair accessible, like hike up a mountain. This is when the trips of me and one parent began. These one on one trips were a game changer for me because I finally got to go do the things I wanted to do, but it also made me kind of sad. Now do not get me wrong, I love spending quality time with my mom or my dad, but it made me wish so much that we were not limited to what we did. To be honest, I was kind of angry with Cate for not allowing us to do things together like other families did. Our family can't just fly to the Bahamas or drop everything and drive across country. Our family has to be split apart to do any of those things. I wish my entire family could experience every vacation together, but I have learned over the years that I can not dwell on what is not in my control or something I can not change.
I learned that this is my reality and honestly it still is pretty awesome. I get the opportunity to spend quality bonding time with one of my parents and have these amazing experiences. Each vacation I take with them strengthens our bond, and makes the vacation we all take as a family together so much sweeter. This year I get the opportunity to hike all over one of the most beautiful national parks with my dad, I mean how amazing is that.
Vacations can be a very stressful and frustrating time with your sibling, but you have to make the most of it. You also have to know its ok to be frustrated with them, its a totally natural feeling that I think every sibling has faced, no matter if they had a disability or not. Vacations are a special time growing up and has given me some of the best memories I have, even if they are not the ideal situation. Just because our vacations are different, it does not make them any less special.