Instead of writing something poignant (ha!) or witty (right!), I could use a little help from you Hopeful Parents out there.
The other half is getting to go to Hawaii for business next month and we had planned on the boys and I meeting him at the end of his conference for a family vacation. We were fortunate to go to Hawaii just over a year ago as well. It was a lovely trip, aside from the awful-ness that was trying to fly home. M did pretty well, all in all, but in truth, he is a different child today than he was just 13 months ago.
I thought I could handle the 5 1/2 hour flight to Oahu by myself, but after flying back home to visit relatives last week, I absolutely know that I would not be able to do that with two young children successfully. M's sensory issues have multiplied greatly and his ability to not lash out at me (verbally and often with pinching and grabbing) has gone right out the window. The flights to and from our visit weren't the worst flights we've ever taken, but they were also far from the best, and they most definitely filled me with more consistent stress because I was aware that he was on the verge of a (loud) tantrum at almost every moment of the flight.
My amazing mother-in-law has offered to fly with us to Hawaii. This would be wonderful on several accounts. Not only would she be an extra set of hands at the airport and on the plane (allowing me to actually get out of my seat to use the bathroom, which you know is going to need to happen on a flight that long!), she would allow the other half and I to take our own time, free of the kids, if we wanted it.
But here's where I need your help...she has also offered to fly to our home in California to stay with M while the other half, my typical four-year-old, and I go to Hawaii by ourselves. The other half won't hear of it, but I have to admit that I think it is a really nice idea. First off, we have two other domestic trips planned this year that M will absolutely be included in. And second, doesn't B, my typically developing child, deserve a vacation where he can go places we normally wouldn't be able to go without the constant worry that it could end at any moment based on his brother's needs? And as guilty as it makes me feel to admit it, I could use a 'normal' vacation as well. It would be great to eat out at a restaurant, leisurely, without worrying that M will yell, or worse, try to grab food off of another diner's plate. (yep, that happened to us the last time we went to Hawaii)
It is hard to imagine how looking at photos after a trip like this--with one very important family member missing--will make us feel. Just thinking about it certainly stirs up all sorts of emotions in me. And I know that M adores the sunshine and being at a hotel. But would I be the worst parent in the world if I actually did take my mother-in-law up on her offer? Have YOU ever made this sort of decision? I would love to hear your personal thoughts and stories.