Wait for it....
Yup, they are all interests of our Aspergers child, he likes them all and today we saw a bank designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, a court house used by Abe Lincoln, we drove on historic Route 66 and we went to Del Rhea's Chicken Basket in Willowbrook where Guy Fiery did a show of "Diners Drive-ins and Dives". Rather than spend a fortune on a vacation we did all of this for 2 tanks of gas, the price of food and I believe surprise gifts for the Mom of the house. Let's say under $250, although I am not sure what the boys found for me so I am estimating low.
For us, in the past, we would have gone further and gotten a hotel room somewhere. This time we did a shorter trip, saved some money and had a blast. I guess what I am getting at is how often do we (to use my friend Brian's term) "self medicate" by spending a lot, doing too many things and overstimulating ourselves and the kids on a wild, but wonderful vacation? Did you know Pontiac, IL has an AMAZING war museum? Our son was so excited and saw so many branches of service and their stories, he was reeling. In fact, the head curator, was the Sergent in the story of "Saving Private Ryan". Fabulous and educational. If you ever GO to Willowbrook, you have to go to the Chicken Basket. The mac and cheese is fabo, and just like my Aunts. Amazing. This isn't coming out the way I want it to, but I would like us as parents of kids with a disability to: Stop. Look around. What do you really want to do, or what do you need to do? There is a big difference. Are we doing things to "medicate" ourselves to get through whatever we have to? Or are we going someplace because it is the "thing to do"?
Now this isn't an advertisement, but just to let you know, the smaller less stimulating activities may be the most interesting. I will admit, the boys lost me in Gardner, it was cold and standing in front of a 2 cell jail museum was not my idea of a good time. BUT we did it and we learned a lot of new things about IL. Our son has a variety of interests, and although this was more indulgent than we needed to be for all of us, it was a fun trip and we almost did get our "Kicks on Route 66".