We had a great deal of fun. The band director put me in charge of two groups of girls (most of whom are The Boy’s friends), and The Boy. He roomed with me.
Both days were non-stop the entire time. I think everyone would have appreciated one less sightseeing stop in favor of a bit more time to eat and breathe. But we did get to see and experience a lot, and ended up walking the equivalent of 16 miles in 48 hours.
The Boy was amazing. We got to our final destination of the day on Friday, which was a parade at the Marine Barracks – a fantastic experience! – and all of a sudden I realized I hadn’t given The Boy his evening meds, and we were going to be in the stands until after 10pm. He was also sitting away from me. I could clearly see him, but what if something happened? What if he got upset for some reason? Would it become a national security incident? Should I alert one of the very nice marines that he has autism? I did nothing, but watched him like a hawk, body taught to spring into action if necessary. He watched and enjoyed the whole thing, “conducting” every piece and loving every minute of it. There was absolutely no issue until later that night, when we finally got into our hotel rooms after 12 midnight. He was trying to log on to the hotel wifi without a password, and I didn’t think I knew what it was. The phone was out of order, so I couldn’t call down to the desk, and I reasoned that it was late anyway. I should have known better, but I was exhausted, too. A doozy of a meltdown ensued, and we rode it out. Luckily, it was relatively short-lived, if aggressive. Then I found the password on the envelope our room key was in, let him get on for a couple minutes, and all was well.
He had been “on” for 18 hours, I didn’t give him his meds until late, he was exhausted, and it was the perfect recipe for a meltdown. Unfortunately, I’m not always at 100%, and when I fall down, I can’t expect him to remain standing.
When it was all over, and he was calm, in bed, with the lights out, I talked to him about how proud I was of him, how he had had an amazing day, and that he would have a great day the next day, too. We just had to figure out a better way for him to cope when he gets upset, but that we would work on it together.
The next day, he woke up a happy camper, and we did have a great day. This kid amazes me every damn day.