Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bringing vacation to him.

I think we all look forward to times that we can take a vacation, regardless of how often or long you're able to do so, am I right? To get away, have fun, relax, rest, clear your mind of the stressors in life. I know on Facebook I see many joyful posts as one begins an anticipated vacation, or the more gloomy update of returning back to the 'real world,' as many say. Failing body or not, Wyatt is just like you and me. He loves to go on vacation! In fact, my son has asked to go on "a real vacation" every day, some days repeatedly, since the late spring, around the time that he became very sick. I've often wondered, analyzing his request, if he's trying to get away from his everyday life too, away from his broken body or at least the monotony of our medicalized lives. Or if he's possibly really wanting to know if he'll ever get to go on a vacation again. I can't say that the very same, very real thought hasn't crossed my mind. I want to take him on a real vacation, just as badly as he wants to go. (Who am I kidding, I'd settle for a trip to the mall or Target even.) 


Every single day he wakes, telling me "we NEED to go to Disney World" and "you can go pack" or "start packing now!" And as I tell him we can't go to Disney World today, he replies "I want to go on a REAL vacation." Begging, pleading with me to take him away. Some days I just say "I know", "okay" or "I'll see what we can do", as I can't bear to break his heart and make him upset again today. As I know we'll repeat this same conversation tomorrow too. I've tried coming up with every excuse and reason that I can think of as to why we can't just pick up and leave. We've tried replying to his requests with short answers, having heart to heart conversations about why he wants to go, watching the promotional vacation DVDs to hopefully give enough to satisfy him and have even been very honest, telling him that we can't leave his medical team behind right now. I've made jokes about having to take Dr. R, the social workers and nurses with us...but it has somewhat backfired on me because he doesn't seem to mind that thought, as long as he gets to go on "a real vacation."


My mind has been at war with itself the last few months about this. I want so badly to get run away too. There have been times that I'm ready to go, thinking "We can do it! This is it! We can make this work for him. We do everything medical related from home as it is...we can email and have the doctor's phone number if we need him." At times I almost have myself talked into it. Then the other side of my arguing brain chimes in (some could call it the realistic side) and I begin to think of all the very real concerns, fears and worries.


After talking with a friend about vacations, she casually (light heartedly) mentioned setting up the beach in our home. And after some thought, that's just what we decided to do. We'll bring the vacation to him! I knew it probably would not satisfy his need or urge to get away, I think that runs much deeper, but it could be fun. And fun is what we all need more of! So I perused amazon.com, finding all that I needed and come last weekend we were temporarily rearranging our home for "the beach."


Blow up palm trees, a personal "ocean" and the sounds of beach life included. All in the comforts of home (and no concern of electricity to run the boy's equipment!) I decided to leave out the sand, as I was sure it would end up in the beds, along with everywhere else. And that didn't seem like fun to me.


As Wyatt woke briefly in the middle of the afternoon we told him of our surprise, changed his clothes, taped up all the lines and carried him to "the ocean". He was very tired, but seemed to enjoy the small amount of time that he vacationed with us. After getting out of the water and changed into dry clothes he quickly fell back to sleep. (That nearly 2hr vacation appeared to be exhaustingly fun!) The girls enjoyed playing "in the ocean" through the afternoon...because, lets be honest, when does anybody get the opportunity to "swim in the ocean" in their dining room! If nothing else, it's a moment the girls won't forget.
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