The sun is shining, our plans are made, we're packing bags, it's that time of year when everyone asks you if you're taking a holiday. This year we can say yes, we are taking a regular summer holiday like other families. We've learnt some things to avoid and we are taking a huge risk and making a change from our usual unseasonal holiday in a remote spot! We're still heading for a quiet destination with minimum fuss but there will be other people there and lots of cars on the road and we're travelling further than 3 hours away from home. Will it be ok?
Good news! My daughter has packed a bag full of everything that may be needed on a car journey and for a holiday by the sea. I didn't need to worry as she has now taken on the role of chief organiser and activity bag packer. When we got to our destination we were upgraded to a different self catering lodge. This took some time to adjust to and it was a close thing if the bags were going to be unpacked. I held my breath, took several steps backwards and let dad deal with this hitch in our carefully laid plans.
The next day when it was apparent that other families were staying at the same location, I heard a voice saying: "They shouldn't be here!"
We met another family with a little boy with autism. As he sat in the tea rooms listening to music through his headphones and laughing to himself out loud, my daughter looked up from her book. We got chatting to the other family. Neither of us felt so alone anymore! We met near the shower block and shared stories of our days out. He'd disappeared and runaway from their tent. They found him hiding in the farmhouse porch. Our daughter had found it hard to return to our lodge after a day out. The transition from car to holiday lodge was overwhelming her. "What do I do?" was the anguished cry. Thankfully she rummaged in her large bag and found one of the many activity books she had packed!
The sun shone, we swam in the sea. We had delicious food and much that was the same as at home but...we went on a summer holiday to a new destination, at a busy time of year and we not only survived but we may even go again!