Image: My guy was a little tentative in the cold water of Lake Michigan, but he did enjoy the morning on the beach in Traverse City, Michigan. He also got to swim in a hotel pool, hike a little bit, and climb a sand dune during our two-day vacation.
Oh, the fun my ten-year-old son has been having. Last week we went on vacation to Traverse City, a popular destination in Northwestern Michigan. This week he is at a camp for people with special needs. I will pick him up on Friday and while I'll be glad to have him back, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to the nearly two-hour-drive home.
My husband had the relatively easier job (aside from having to wait until I faxed him prescriptions) of delivering him to camp. The elder Lorenzen guy said that our son had a grin almost all the way there. It's his fourth or fifth year at the Fowler Center, so he knew exactly what to expect. It's a week of being outside and doing activities he loves such as swimming.
So yeah. The transition from home to camp was easy enough for him to handle. The transition from camp to home? I'm holding my breath and hoping for the best. Am a little worried because he had a meltdown on his way home from Traverse City last week. He wanted to do something that was impossible on the way home, and would not let the idea go. He did calm down by the time we arrived home, but we were all on edge by the time he did. Meltdowns in the close quarters of a vehicle can be difficult.
The type of meltdown he usually has in rooted in control issues. When he can't control something such as leaving camp, he tries to control something else such as what kind of rest break we take on the way home. It can be a miserable situation for all parties. Sigh.
My husband and I have a few ideas of how to prevent an impending meltdown, though I'm not sure they will work. One idea is for me to take a recording from his dad reminding our son to "not give mom a hard time." Another is a social story or a simple verbal reminder for him to be good. Rewards are probably not a good thing to offer, because, in this case, he'll try to control what reward he'll be given.
So, I feel guilty about it, but have to admit I'm not looking forward to Friday and being alone in a van with a potentially unhappy son. On the bright side, I'm grateful he can transition to being at camp and that I don't really have to worry about getting a phone call about behavior problems, a type of call that I occasionally receive from his school.
Also, anticipating downfalls such as a meltdown helps a bit. It's better to anticipate one than to field one that comes out of nowhere. However, if you suspect I'm trying to convince myself that I'll manage things just fine on Friday, you are correct. My son and I usually get through those moments even if it's just a matter of "muddling through." It's just not easy....