Above the Clouds

We’re spending March Break with T in Cancun and the wait has been so worth it.

The past few months have been very challenging and knowing this family trip to Mexico was in the distance gave us the motivation to hang on.

The hubby and I are part of a support group for caregivers of kids with FASD and a recent guest shared this video by life coach Mel Merritt on self care: Life has shitty moments and one way to get through them is to focus on the good stuff.

I know many will find her advice simplistic and idealistic. Viewing it as an FASD parent, I think that metaphorical jug containing the zest of life is missing cracks and leaks.

Nonetheless, the video resonated, because that’s always been my approach as T’s parents.

We knew at an early age life was going to be ups and downs.

So we do our best to balance life with moments and experiences that bring us joy, whether they are smaller scale, like our daily walks or play time or larger scale treats, like a family trip.

Because life with T is always a balancing act.

When we arrived at the resort, T was tired and disregulated, bouncing a water bottle on the ground repeatedly during check in.

After repeatedly telling him to stop, I took the water bottle from him, which led to an outburst.

“You are so stupid!” He yelled very loudly, startling parents nearby who all turned to look at us. T kept going. “You suck! And you ruined my day!”

I tried to apply the co-regulation skills I learned from the SNAP program.

Counting backwards from 1,000 – they suggest 10 – I repeatedly told myself that going to prison for 30 years was not worth the 30 seconds of satisfaction I’d get from strangling him.

But like all explosive moments with our child, they pass – and I was not going to let this shitty moment muck up our trip.

And it’s been a blissful two days so far.

The amenities at the resort are amazing, including a waterpark for kids, which T has loved playing at.

I got in a nice hour at the gym by myself on Saturday night followed by a nice family meal at a Japanese restaurant. This tapioca dessert, with crème brûlée cracklings, was so good.

T and I spent this afternoon at the indoor trampoline – where he played very nicely with two boys for over two hours.

It was so heartwarming to see him have a great time – being a kid, free of the challenges from the last few weeks and months.

As he bounced high up into the air, I couldn’t help but think T was soaring up into the clouds in his imagination, as he often does.

T is the kid on the left.

I allowed myself to truly savour the moment, guilt free – because we all deserve to rise above the clouds from time to time.

Above the clouds, the sun is always shining.

25 thoughts on “Above the Clouds

  1. What a wonderful resort Ab! You know what my favorite part of your posts are? The fact that you post the real experiences. You don’t sugar coat anything and you give you honest feelings. What a great place to go to escape every day life.

    1. Thanks Diane. It was a wonderful getaway and I’m sad we’re back home in winter. 😆 I do try to keep it real about our parenting a child with FASD. It certainly is not rainbows and sunshine all the time, far from it, but we’re thankful for the moments we do get to escape and have fun too.

  2. Rocking that sombrero! I’m sorry to hear about the outburst though. My parents said I gave them a hard time when they travelled abroad with me as a kid, but I didn’t have FASD. I get the impression that misbehaving kids abroad is relatively normal though, so you’re doing just fine

    1. Thank you. The sombrero was lots of fun.

      I appreciate your kind words. I can only speak from our experience but this was next level challenging. The flight home last night was quite… an experience… but glad to be home safe and sound. And to focus on the start of a new day! 😊

  3. I keep reminding myself of T when I see kids who suddenly snap in public. Maybe they’re like T. Maybe their brains are different. Your blog posts have really taught me a lot, Ab. I’ve been trying to focus more on being kind and less judgmental — it doesn’t always work, I have to admit.

    Despite the initial hiccup, it looks like you’re having a really great time!

    1. Thanks Bama. I’m really touched you said that. 😊 I can totally understand the part about not always being judgment free and kind. I’m this kid’s parents and am quite versed in his disability and there are still moments when he drives me absolutely insane. Like during this very moment when he’s having a fit cuz the coffee maker in the hotel is not working the way he wants it to. 😆

      If I am able to change one heart and one mind at a time then I feel like I am helping contribute to awareness raising and advocacy not just on T’s behalf but everyone in the same situation.

      So thank you for making my day with your comment! We’re gonna go get in a final swim now before we have to check out and head home. Talk later. 😊

  4. It’s always nice to have a vacation to look forward to, especially in the winter to escape the cold! Despite the rocky start at the resort, glad to hear that you’re filling your cup with lots of great memories (and more water from the waterpark)! Thanks for sharing that video. It’s a great way of putting things into perspective when it comes to focusing on the good things in life. Enjoy the rest of your time in Mexico!

    1. Thanks Linda. We’re very thankful for the chance to get away after the past while. 🙂 We have plans to take T to swim with dolphins later today. That should be a highlight. 😊🙏

  5. I’m so glad you and the family are having such a great time, and not allowing those brief mucky moments to ruin the who experience. The counting backwards is a great tactic… this too shall pass, just give it 10 seconds, or 1,000. 😊

  6. Oh, I love this. I was completely hooked by the Mel video – kinda expected that she’d just get a new glass 🙂 so I didn’t guess her inspirational solution.

    And the joke about counting backwards from 1,000 cracked me up!

    But mostly, I’m just so glad you all have gotten away for some great relaxation and fun. What great pictures of so much fun!! And your metaphor for rising above the clouds – yes! Enjoy the rest of your trip!! <3 <3 <3

    1. Thanks Wynne. I was thinking the same thing as you too. It was a clever solution and it stuck with me after our parent group meeting.

      It’s been so great to get away and I feel like the time is just flying by. But thankful for every single second, even the testy ones. 😊🙏

      Hope you and the kids have a wonderful week ahead too!

  7. Enjoy this!!! How fun!!! I laughed at the outburst because sounds like me at 43 in public lol lol. Yea…not often though. Catch some waves!

    1. Thanks Rebecca. Oh dear, yes, the outbursts can catch all of us off guard and I just try to ground it all in our little boy’s brain and personality. I’m thankful it’s been a mostly great time so far. 😊🙏

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