Our definition of vacation is anywhere but home. Jess has it in her mind that we are going to Maui. The night before, because I am a geek, we watched the movie Gigit Goes Hawaiian. What can I say? I love old movies, had a crush on James Darren, and Jess likes surf movies. A life time ago, Maui was my home…sigh…. hate to break it to you kid, we are lucky to be getting out of New Jersey.
As we were preparing to leave, Jess was a chatterbox. One of her monologues she said “excited, ready, now, now, now” which contradicts what she said earlier that she was being “patient”. She’s making plans to go swimming, watch movies and has decided what and where we are going to eat. Did I not tell you she’s a foodie?
Once on the road, we thought about playing a game of I SPY. Jess started off by pointing out a police car (using Speak for Yourself). He was parked at the Dunkin Doughnuts. That was just too easy.
After a couple of hours, Husband asked where we should stop for dinner. Jess requested ice cream. I’m sure she will change her mind to Burger King when she sees the signs. We ended up settling for McDonalds. There really isn’t much choice while on the road, but at least they had minions.
New adventures means opening new words on SFY. Sometimes it is hard for me to keep track, but Jess remembers. As we hit another pocket of bumper to bumper traffic, husband broke his silence and said “this is bullshit” (frustrating to add another hour to the long trip.) Jess chimed in with “ha ha ha”. I asked her if she wanted that word added and she said “yes”. I replied “you should have more curse words available” to which she said “right”. Jess laughed hysterically every time husband said the choice words. Like a little boy, he was doing this for her reaction. Now I just pray that she uses good judgement and says them appropriately.
The last time we made this schlep, Jess didn’t have SFY. What a difference having a voice makes. I don’t know how she/we existed without one. Her having the ability to say what’s on her mind has made her world bigger. We still have struggles though. It’s hard finding communication partners. Even though Jess has had this app for nearly 2 1/2 years, her expressive language is emerging much like any one who is learning a new language. It’s difficult when people can’t follow her train of thought or don’t have the patience for her to compose her thoughts.
On this road trip, we will be visiting family. Not just any family, the best kind of family. One that includes Jess in the conversation and will wait for her to answer on her AAC. My cousin is an OT. Besides having mad skills, she has many gifts and is just plain awesome. Cousin is looking forward to talking through SFY. We came prepared and are locked and loaded with a back-up iPad. Husband has the app on his mini, so we have a few AAC voices this weekend. Sounds like our kind of party!
Tonight we will be on a schooner called the Ardelle. Cousin’s husband will be playing fiddle with a local band. After the sail, we will be finding a clam shack which fulfills one of Jess’s earlier requests. As they say, when in Rome. do as the Romans.
For the rest of the weekend, I expect a few impromptu jam sessions. Husband and cousin will be playing guitar and this will be rounded out by the fiddle. I should have packed Jess’s cowbell.
And to answer the question “are we there yet?”, why yes, yes we are. Let the festivities begin!