I am sad. I am sad for Brandon. And I am sad for Steve and I. Brandon goes to a camp every summer and has for the past 9-10 years. We drop him off on Sunday afternoon and pick him up on Friday evening.
Brandon likes camp. He does really well there and we have never had one complaint about his behavior. There are so many activities for the campers, who all have developmental disabilities. Their time is so structured and by the end of the day, everyone is wore out and sleeps well.
The camp counselors are young people from around the world and are trained well. The one and only time we got a call was medication related and it was simply to clarify. The camp is well run and a nice break for our son during the long summer months.
This year, Brandon will not be going to camp due to the global pandemic that is Covid-19. While I understand why he isn’t going and agree with the decision, I am still sad.
In the past, when Brandon was at camp, Steve and I would get away for a few days. Only once did we go further than a 4-5 hour car ride away. When our other boys were younger, we did take them to Disney World.
There were those who questioned why we wouldn’t take Brandon to Orlando with us. Why we wouldn’t let him experience a “normal” vacation. Why? Because he would have been miserable. Heck, it was overwhelming for us with all the people, sounds, smells, lights, etc. and we do not have autism.
I can’t imagine Brandon having to deal with all the stimuli of Disney World. And the crowded plane ride to Florida. We also knew he was having fun at camp.
Last year, Steve and I went to Memphis, TN with our friends, Jessica and Caleb. It was so much fun. We visited Graceland and the Civil Rights Museum. We ate some good southern BBQ, swam, and just relaxed.
This summer, we were planning to go to Nashville, TN with Jess and Caleb. We had planned to visit The Grand Ole Opry, Music Row and other landmarks. With more relaxing while not having to worry about Brandon’s care.
I think it is important for us parents of kiddos with special needs to get these breaks. I have always used this time to recharge myself. To focus on my needs a bit more. To have adult conversation without being interrupted to talk about animals.
This summer will be a bit different since Brandon now goes to day program, instead of school. There is no summer break for day programs and for this I am thankful. But I am going to miss my time away with my husband.
I think Brandon will miss his time at camp.
Stay well everyone!