Facing cancer as a single parent was no easy task, especially with a 6 year old who has autism. But thanks to a great family, terrific friends, a phenomenal babysitter and lots of support from Ben’s dad, we made it through the whole ordeal with our home and family still intact.
During my treatments, Ben…for the first time in his short life…spent more time with his father than with me. This can be unnerving, even for a typical six year old, but I worried that it would cause extra stress for Ben as a common characteristic of autism is an adherence to strict structures and routines. However, Ben came through like a trooper and handled the transition between his two homes much better than I expected.
Now that I am feeling better, I am making a special effort to spend some good, quality time with just me and Ben. So this weekend, we set off to Autism Camp in scenic Central Newfoundland. Unfortunately, the trip got off to a rough start. We were at a complete standstill in a traffic jam for two solid hours, turning our five hour drive into a seven hour drive! It was a harrowing experience to say the least. By the time we made it to camp, Ben had devoured all the treats from our weekend “grub box”, and the back seat looked like a cyclone had hit it, with empty juice boxes, half eaten cookies, crumbled chips and wads of chewing gum. But we made it there safe and sound, which is the most important thing.
Saturday was filled with lots of fun and educational activities. The first thing I signed up for was horse back riding, with visions of me and Ben galloping through the forest on a big stallion named Black Beauty. What we actually got was an old brown mare, named Candy, who practically crawled around the trail. I was admittedly feeling a little nervous atop of this huge animal and thankful that my fantasy horse had not materialized.
In addition to horseback riding, Ben enjoyed…..
And even the educational programs….
Thankfully, he crashed out early both nights, giving me a much needed break!
In all, it was a fantastic weekend and I am so happy that I shared it with my baby boy. Now to unpack and gear up for my next adventure: a trip to Prince Edward Island with Shawn and his family.