As Todd and I pack and prepare for a three-week road trip anxiety and fear are joining the party. My mind is racing with all the things to prepare at home. I am having thoughts about forgetting to pay a bill or invoice for my day job. I am having thoughts about forgetting to pay a personal bill or forgetting an instruction for my family that is staying at the house with Justin. Plants need to be watered. The chickens, our dog, and the fish need to be cared for and fed. (My son does not even know the name of our fish, so the worry is warranted in my mind.)
My mind is thinking about what we must bring to make it more comfortable for Emily and meet her unique needs while we are away from home. I wonder if we will be able to fit everything in the van. I worry it will all be too much for her and she will be agitated and upset the entire time. My brain is creating all sorts of BS obstacles and making them extra theatrical for dramatic effect.
It isn’t all bad. I am visualizing great things happening on the trip. I can see her loving it and rising to the occasion. I visualize her enjoying the car ride and the people and all the action. I am excited for her to meet my accountability group in Dayton, Ohio. We will get to spend 48 hours together. I am excited to meet some of these women for the first time in person and also for them to meet Todd and Emily. They have listened to Emily for the last two years in my Marco Polo videos. I am happy they will meet her.
We will experience challenges. There are things that will not be easy. We will face obstacles of access with Emily and her wheelchair. We will be in places with restrooms that are not adequate to meet her needs. Lifting and transitioning Emily will be physically tough on us both. We will have to help her manage her anxiety and fear as we take her out of her routine and comfort zone. (Adapting to change is not one of Emily’s superpowers.) She is likely to be very loud and possibly throw some temper tantrums. There will likely be vomit and poop (welcome to the world of many special needs families).
I know Todd and I will grow through this trip. We will learn what works and what doesn’t. I know this adventure is going to be whatever we make it. If we see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, we win no matter what happens. No matter what unfolds, we will make memories and have stories to tell for years to come.