I do not know who is more excited for the next 11 days to pass: Amber and I, or Kaitlyn. It might be a push.
Since the last day of school nearly three months ago, Kaitlyn has wanted nothing more than to go back to school. At least most of the time. She missed her friends and missed her routine, and I think she missed the learning.
She was never really excited about going to camp, but she made the best of it while she was there. In the beginning, that had a lot to do with all of the new faces every week, and toward the end, she was being treated so poorly by some of the counselors that we decided to remove her from the situation.
The past two weeks, she has been with her big sister and a family friend, and this weekend, she will be a flower girl in a wedding (she gets to dress like a Disney princess). Next week, she will be in a music camp with her friend from school, who we hope is in Kaitlyn’s class again.
In 11 days, we get to get back to our regular routine. The summer has been fun overall, but also stressful in so many ways. We get to meet Kaitlyn’s first grade teacher next week, and she will get to see her classroom for the first time. School is almost back in session.
The level of stupidity people reach might have reached yet another low. And this time, Amber is really upset about it. If you know one thing about our family, when Amber gets this upset about something, heads start to roll. Uh oh.
Some people have a lot of nerve, and one of Kaitlyn’s camp counselors seems to have a ton of nerve. She had the guts to ask our friend, who also happens to be a counselor at the same camp, a question that is so far out of bounds that she cannot even see the line she crossed to get there.
This brave soul had the nerve to ask if Kaitlyn is medicated. My blood pressure rose when Amber told me about the question, and I can only imagine the deep red color that Amber turned. She went into defense mode immediately, and rightly so.
Who does this counselor think she is? If there were any condition that required medication, we would have noted it on the registration form. It really is none of her business. And for the record, Kaitlyn is not on any medication.
Amber and I strongly feel that medicating her would be wrong. She does not need chemical solutions, she needs her regular discipline techniques (the ones that are also highly criticized). It took everything in my power to not turn around and head back to camp and make a scene. The only person that needs medication is that counselor who asked the question, and I am not sure they make something that will counteract the effects of an overdose on stupid pills.
As we were searching for summer camps this past spring, the most important factor for us was sending Kaitlyn somewhere she would be comfortable. We settled on sending her to the same place she went last summer so she would be familiar with her surroundings and the counselors (for the most part).
But, she surprised us this week when she told us she was not having fun at camp this summer. This was very odd to Amber and I because it seemed like she was having a blast.
Because Kaitlyn is sort of like an onion when it comes to getting answers (we have to peel layer by layer), it took a while to get to the bottom of her discontent. She was not enjoying herself because her BFF from school and her buddy from last summer were not there with her. Each of them has been once or twice, and they were both there when we were on vacation, but that is not good enough for Kaitlyn. She does not make new friends too easily, and she has that comfort with them.
Luckily for her (and for us) her summer buddy will be at camp this week, and her BFF will be there during the last week of July.
**Note: I cannot believe how many times I have written “BFF” recently. It is unreal, but since we are still building a relationship with the family of said friend, it feels uncomfortable to put her name in here.**
The last three days have been very gloomy for Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn rarely smiled, and that had everything to do with the weather. Tropical storm Debby paid us a visit and stayed for a few days. On top of the gloom, Kaitlyn has been very tired this week. That is probably a combination of the weather and her getting back on schedule after our vacation.
This morning when I dropped her off at camp, I saw something for the first time in a few days. I saw her beautiful smile. And it was amazing.
While she was tired on the way to camp, she perked up once we got there. And once she was on her swing. Being a creature of habit, Kaitlyn has gotten upset in the past when another camper is on her swing when we get there. Today, she was swinging as high as she could, with a giant smile on her face. It sure was nice to see.
The sun is back out today, and Kaitlyn is one happy camper.
Week one of summer camp is in the books, and it went way better than I expected. Kaitlyn was excited to go every morning, except for Wednesday (more on that in a second), and has adjusted wonderfully. Of course, Amber and I know that all that means is that we had one good week; Kaitlyn is just as likely to not want to go to camp at all next week as she is to be excited about going. One thing is a certainty though, and that is she comes homes exhaused every day, so I have to say thanks to the counselors at the Junior Museum for keeping her going all day and wearing her out. There was only one brief moment on the way to camp this week that she even mentioned going to her old school, and I quickly changed the subject and she seemed to forget all about it..although she still remembers that some of the kids at the school teased her relentlessly and she is not too happy about it (honestly, Amber and I are happy that none of the kids from that school will be at the same school as her next year).
About Wednesday: Kaitlyn woke up just flat out worn out. Two days of non-stop activity in the heat and humidity did a number on her. She could barely keep her eyes open as she laid on the couch before getting ready. We got her dressed (more specifically Amber got her dressed and brushed her hair because let’s face it, I know very little about brushing hair effectively) and she just dragged around the house. Before I knew it, she was passed out on the couch again. It was about time to go, so I got her up and put her socks and shoes on, and before she could even stand back up, her hands were over her mouth holding some of her breakfast in. Luckily she made it to the dining room before she let loose, and I got her to the bathroom to finish off round one of vomit for the day. Right then, camp was off for the day. Fortunately, Amber was able to come home and stay with her, although I was certainly willing (Kaitlyn likes to have her mom there when she is sick). Except for getting up a few times to expel more of her stomach contents, Kaitlyn slept most of the morning and was bouncing around by the time I got home from work. It seems she was just beat and was probably overcome by the heat and humidity. She was a little upset that she missed camp because it was the first water day of the summer, but she was no worse for wear the rest of the week.
Each day brings something new for us. We continue to learn and to adapt to her Asperger’s. We do our best to make her life as great as we can, and do not allow her Asperger’s to be an excuse for anything…it is the reason for so many things, but never an excuse. She keeps us laughing and on our toes, and can have a 180-degree shift in mood every other second. We have a special and amazing daughter, and grow more thankful everyday that she teaches us so much. Her Asperger’s has been a blessing for us by teaching us so much about ourselves as people and parents and by expanding our knowledge.