This time of year is the bane of my life!
Oh how I long to be around a pool in a warm climate with my husband and little people, but alas, it is not to be.
I'm starting to see the glorious photos of cocktails under Palm trees, tans and white trousers plastered all over my Facebook and Twitter feed.
Yes, I am most definitely a shade of green...quite a deep green too!
You see, a holiday abroad for us is not really practical.
Having three little ones with ASD, not only did the idea of a flight fill me with dread, but the fact that recently a family were hauled off a plane due to (in my humble opinion) a pilot who obviously didn't understand any aspect of ASD whatsoever. This bothers me. What would happen if my eldest rascal would flap and flick with a little too much gusto towards the wrong passenger/ cabin crew/ pilot- would that result in a rather humiliating diversion and the walk of shame off a Boeing 757 or whatever it is these days? My life is full of anxious moments and this is most certainly one I can do without.
The next challenge is the hotel. My littlest rascal has a thing about his surroundings and strangely has a strong dislike of an extremely popular UK hotel chain. No sooner do we enter reception, the screaming begins. Now, imagine spending umpteen thousands of pounds on your long awaited week/ fortnight of relaxing to discover that your ASD child can't tolerate the hotel you've booked. It doesn't bode well.
Another problem is the dining hall... Yes...full of glaring lights, noise echoing throughout, heels clicking on shiny floors, plates clattering, cutlery and glasses clinking. This would send my middle one to distraction. His sensory self regulation would hit an all time high, causing him to run, bump into and laugh hysterically.
Yet, here I am, craving the sun, the relaxation and some fun family time.
Someone shrugged their shoulders and told me to drive and go self catering or camping. Ah, you see, where is the holiday in that? It's like a home away from home, except with the sun. And cooking over a hot stove in Mediterranean heat simply doesn't do it for me. The last thing I need is to be stressed with heightened anxiety in another country...god help me!
The option of leaving children behind isn't really what I want either; neither respite or a willing relative is ideal in truth. It would simply be lovely to have a family holiday...just the five of us, for a week or two....in the sun.
However, we mustn't complain too much as we actually do have a short break planned in good old Blighty, with family, and are very much looking forward to that, just as long as the sun shines and the smell of a barbecue wafts through the air. Plus if I get to wear sunglasses, I guess I'm nearly there.
It is so easy to book a holiday now online and there's even a travel agent next door to the supermarket that I shop at, which, I admit, I have entered and grabbed a brochure, crying over the photos over a glass of Spanish red.
Surely it shouldn't be this hard to accommodate a family with children with ASD...but it's terrifying to even try sometimes!
I'm hoping that as the year goes on, I will come across an amazing company that deals with my anxieties and I can write up a post of how wonderful my holiday was: abroad, in the sun, having had two flights, with my husband and three little ASD rascals!