Summer is a paradoxical time. The days stretch out like a languid cat and in the morning it seems as if there is time for anything before nightfall. And then we try to cram in several days worth of experiences in the finite hours between dawn and dusk.
For the first time in my years of parenting, our children are traveling for an extended period without us. Our 10 year old, E. left a week and a half ago for 4 weeks in an RV trip out West with his best friend's family. So far, he has hiked and horseback ridden in Yellowstone park, soaked in mineral springs in the Grand Tetons, and yesterday did a river rafting trip on the Colorado River.
My nearly 13 year old, P., is flying to Greece for a two week trip organized by his 7th grade social studies teacher. If, several years ago, you had asked me whether this would be possible, I would have said no.
Those were the years when P. would spin into intense tantrums if he missed an episode of a favorite TV show, or if we imposed a change in his treasured routines. When a substitute teacher would send him into a tailspin for a week at school. When stress in the classroom would send P running out of the school building in a panic. When I needed to hover at every social interaction and run interference with our extended family at the few family events we couldn't say no to.
So much has changed in 8 short years. He is turning into a young man right before my eyes with more resources and more confidence that I had dared believe when he was 5 and newly diagnosed.
The trip that was months away, the Bar Mitzvah that was years away, have arrived with frightening speed on our event horizen. 8th grade looms and then one giant step to Highschool a year later.
But for now, I have 2 days before my precious boy flies overseas, passport and euros in hand for a two week trip that will also fly by.