So as we all read in the last blog, Elizabeth’s emotions have been running on high lately.

And guess what?

We had a vacation scheduled. We are thinking VACATION with an exclamation mark after it. She is thinking vacation with a big question mark by it.

We went away for the week, last week.

It was up to the lake, which is about an hour or so drive. We rented a house right on the lake that promised beautiful sunsets, which it certainly delivered

The easy part was clothes packing because it was hot, and we had a washer and dryer. So shorts and T-shirts which Elizabeth pretty much did on her own.

The harder part was the other stuff packing because this is the stuff we take to help her be okay in a new room, bed, shower etc.

In other words all the things that make this new place “just like home”

And this is directly related to her special needs, specifically, I feel to her SPD ( Sensory Processing Disorder) For those who don’t already know, my daughter, Elizabeth has SPD and global dyspraxia. Both both disorders affect her throughout each day. Sometimes it is clearly one more so than the other.

Elizabeth and I packed her blue light bulb (she likes to have her room turn a soft blue all night), her 2 lanterns( to light up the corners of her room) Her linen spray (to help her relax) Her therapy music ( to help her emotions) and her paints ( to relax on the deck). I’m sure there are more things but let that suffice for now.

I feel a certain amount of both stress and almost sheer dread when it is time to pack because for over 24 years any and all trips we took would require such detailed packing. Sometimes with lists that were so long and with items that you could not just grab at an errant Walmart if you forgot them.

I will say it is much, much better now for sure. But there are still items and considerations that simply still have to be made.

But for this trip, it was her SPD that showed itself. I think because she went into the trip with her emotions going this way and that, that her emotional reserves were not replenished enough.

In any event, we were on our way on Tuesday!

We arrived and had a fun lunch, sat by the lake, did some fun shopping and all was great. We went to the house to get settled and found a PORCH SWING! If anyone knows my Elizabeth, they know just how much she LOVES swinging! So, woo-hoo, off to the swing she goes, and she has the amazing view of the lake to swing to!

Then soon it was time for a dinner and to bed.

Let me tell you this, setting up the first night’s sleep stuff takes TIME! But once done, I thought she might sleep well.

I was incorrect. I think it had to do with the room having an in the window air conditioner unit. It was a bit loud and add that into the mix and you can see how that could create an issue.

She did not and she was tired but a trooper.

We had a great day the next day though. We did our 4 mile walk, went to the beach, lunch and had a ball!

I thought for sure she would sleep.

I was incorrect again.

And this is where the vacation started to slide sideways.

I have learned over the years, just how vital sleep is to her emotions and ability to handle things. So with 2 fair nights of sleep, she was pretty prickly. That is the word I use to describe her when she is J_U_S_T holding on and anything you ask of her, is challenging. ANYTHING!

We did our days and she hung in like a trooper but it was with us building in rest times, sensory breaks and the like.

I would say that the vacation was a good, fun and relaxing one (more so for those of us that slept) and I will also say that she was the first one to happily announce on our last morning that “today is the day we GET to head home!” While all the rest of us are wanting one more day, she is practically packed and waiting by the door.

She got home, went to her room and flopped on her bed. She made sure to tell me just how much she missed her room!

I am proud of her for all she is, the work she has done in her life and I simply love her so much.

Also, she was asleep that night by 8:15.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti author of I Believe In You