When my other half and I decided to have children one of the promises we made to each other is we still wanted to travel and see incredible places. We knew this would be challenging especially financially but we loved adventure and experiencing different cultures so we wanted to be determined to make this happen. It was 2006 when we started trying to become pregnant and we went on our last big adventure. Three weeks of traveling around Italy just the two of us. Then in December 2006 we found out we were blessed because we were having our first child. What we didn’t know then was we were also having an Autistic child. How do you go on a big Europen travel adventure with 2 children under the age 0f 7? How do you attempt to do this with an Autistic child that is ruled by schedules, routine, and the expected? How do we transition him to a new city, with completely different architecture, energy, cars, food and language? Armed with all the strategies we have learned at parent training groups we decided to take the plunge and book a two week adventure to Paris. We knew there would be challenging moments and challenging days but we could have that happen in our home city as well. Johnny’s Daddy has been to Paris several times on business trips so he was really familiar with the layout so it was not new to him and I had been thirteen years ago with him as well. Two years ago he had gone on a business trip and took lots of pictures so Johnny and his little sister were very excited when their Daddy would email photos home so they were very familiar with some of the big sites in Paris. Johnny was so excited when we told him our plans and told us his wish list for Paris.
“Mommy I want to see the Eiffel Tower. I want to go up it Mommy. I want to visit the first floor, the second floor and the very top. I want to eat my snack on the Eiffel tower and I want to eat ice cream on the second level. I am going to the top. I also want to see Notre Dame Mommy. I want to see the Arch de trompe Mommy and go up it like Daddy did.”
Two years ago when my father was dying of cancer and after that experience my other half and I looked at each other and declared that life is too short and we have to begin making memories and go and visit all the amazing places that we want to. We cannot keep waiting or putting off travel. Johnny’s therapy and summer camp schedules made it challenging for us to do a European trip over the last two summers but now the timing seemed right. We had to pull Johnny and his sister out of school a week before the school year ended but we knew it was time to take him on a big adventure and test his ability to adjust to a new environment. We just got back from two weeks in Paris and in the following posts I will share moments from our trip.
**My Instagram feed called “Moments and Discoveries” to the right is where I am sharing some pictures of our trip that Johnny and “Princess” wanted me to share.