After a year at home, a lot of us are thinking about going somewhere. Whether it’s reconnecting with family, traveling for medical appointments, or taking a true vacation, opportunities are opening up. I started thinking about going somewhere with my family this summer, but it brought back a lot of memories about just how hard that can be when a member of the family has special needs.
I’m a traveler, and a planner, so over the past decade and a half, we’ve taken on some ambitious trips and usually those trips were meticulously planned a year in advance. When Abram was in preschool, we decided to take a train trip. It’s actually a really cool option that few people know about. You load your car on to an Amtrak train, and then travel overnight in a sleeper compartment. This was a great option to get from Pittsburgh to Florida without someone having to drive all night and arrive exhausted. Or, well, I thought it was a great option...
We booked our own compartment with lounge space for the waking hours that flipped into bunk beds for the nighttime. With cramped quarters and a door that we could secure, we left the Safety Sleeper packed in the car.
As we settled in to sleep, the problem became apparent. As the train whizzed by a landscape dotted with lights, little Abram squealed with delight at all of them. He pressed his little face up against that glass window and watched, mesmerized. I had no way to block the window, and my lights-obsessed baby wasn’t going to pass on the illumination opportunity of his lifetime. The rest of my family slept soundly while I watched over Abram. He didn’t sleep at all, and neither did I!
Traveling with Abram is difficult, to be sure. That’s one of the reasons that the Safety Sleeper can be disassembled and packed--by having a secure and consistent bedtime environment that can move, my family isn’t housebound. It was a godsend for the rest of that trip.
And though it’s difficult, I think travel is important for all kids. We’re able to expose both Abram and both of his siblings to new experiences. It takes a little extra planning, but it’s so worth it.
So, whether your next trip is very soon, or still a ways off...to go just down the road, or further afield, I’m happy I can finally at least start saying once more: happy trails to you!