Saturday, April 11, 2009

Extreme Family Makeover- Can We Be Typical For Five Days?

I am a little ashamed to admit this but here goes -- I sometimes envy other families. I am a jealous person by nature. I envy homes, financial freedom, careers, and the biggest one: personal freedom that isn't held captive to the needs of ADHD children. Isn't that the most terrible thing to say? I don't know why I was born with such insecurities that I forget to fully appreciate all that I have. Anyway, the only way to get rid of these issues is to face them and pummel them into the ground.

Soon, I'll have a chance to do exactly that. My brother is getting married to a wonderful woman and he has decided to do it in Mexico. The four of us going to Mexico? Breathe... Exhale... Cough... Breathe... Exhale...

It's not really a traditional wedding and so they gave me an untraditional timeline. Six weeks notice but they are footing the entire bill! It's been so long since Kai and I have traveled abroad, I didn't even know where we put our suitcases or if we still even had any. I didn't even know where my passport was.

And what will my allergic kids eat? I won't have the safety and convenience of my own kitchen and pantry and I am still testing out corn, milk, and soy. I bet there is a lot of corn, milk, and soy used in Mexico. What about food dyes and preservatives? All I can bring are dry foods (I should check that too), and possibly sneak a pack of GFCF preservative-free hot dogs in a small cooler. Additionally, I would have to look up what is acceptable to bring on planes like lotions, liquids, shampoos, etc.. I heard about the restrictions on the news but I never paid attention because I never thought we'd be going anywhere. We've been doing "staycations" before it became a national trend. I know that is sad but Kai and I decided to pour our resources into health (DAN! $$) and education for the kids and so we've been really trying our best to conserve until I go back to work full-time.

But money is not an issue with this trip. The only thing we'll be paying for is our taxi ride to the airport and our passport application and expedite fees. They are even buying the boys' suits because they want them to be the ringbearers. RINGBEARERS!?!?! And they know my boys very well and they still want them to do this. I never imagined my ADHD boys being ringbearers. The last time we went to a wedding, it was only because I was a bridesmaid and that was 2 1/2 years ago. Logan, then toddler but undiagnosed, exhausted Kai before the couple said, "I do." No more weddings for Logan if we know what's good for us and that was that.

If anyone thinks my brother footing the bill is odd, all I can say is that Koreans and many Korean Americans do this. Almost of all the time, they will buy all the bridesmaids their dresses (hair and makeup included) and pay for all the groomsmen's tux rentals. Not doing this might be considered embarrassing. The parents of the couple spend a lot of money on buying their new in-laws gifts as well. For wealthier families, the gifts exceed thousands of dollars.

There are so many things to do. Typical families go on vacations all the time and while I always envied them, now I am in a similar position and the stress is mounting higher with each passing day. I have to buy dress shoes for the boys, Kai has to buy a new suit, I have to dig up our special hypoallergenic sunscreen or buy it, I have to make the boys practice being ringbearers, I have to teach Logan about Mexico, I have to find out if there is a fridge to hold the boys' hemp milk, I have to buy some sandals, I have to buy make-up (everything from foundation to lipliner- I have nothing), I have to find out if I can bring hemp milk in my suitcase. I have to... I have to... I have to... ........... ... Is this what typical families go through before vacations or weddings? Maybe they don't have to worry about hemp milk and special sunscreen. My friends and my children's therapists keep telling me that my family is typical in many ways. It's so hard for me to see that. We live in our own special needs bubble.

So we are going to do the typical-family thing and go to a wedding and take a vacation all in one shot. I am just so excited that I don't even care about the million tasks that I need to do before I leave. I also thought about something the other day. While I want my children to be aware of danger, I also want them to do the things they fear. OOOOOH, did I just say that? Yes, I did. I don't want them to ever restrict themselves from doing anything they want to do because they are afraid (disclaimer: solely in the unproductive sense). That means finding the bathroom in the dark, making new friends, taking a test in a subject that's hard for them, asking a girl out on a date, and following their dreams. As I step into my taxi that will take me to the airport, I will face my fears (losing my cool and not enjoying myself and my family in Mexico) and hopefully they'll sense that and the business of conquering fears will rub-off on them too.

(Picture: One thing off my to-do list for Mexico -a new dress!!! It's stretchy fabric so that I can be comfortable and not worry about ripping it when I have to pick up Spencer or chase after the boys. The 3/4 sleeve, empire waistline, and high V-neckline are very slimming- hooray!)

1 comment:

manuela227 said...

What a cute dress!!! I am so proud of you. It's good to do normal things once in a while. It will be good for all of you to go on vacation. Some sun and a different ambiance(is that how you spell it?) will be good for you. Have a great time!