Summer Is Upon Us

Tomorrow is the kids’ last day of school (thanks to snow days) and Friday we’re heading out to South Dakota to visit Carl’s family. His brother Steve and Steve’s wife Chris will be there: we haven’t seen them in, like, five years. Therefore, Carl’s mom is hosting a family get-together at “Charlie’s”, a little restaurant in Chamberlain. I hope they have kids’ menus.

But anyway. It takes about nine hours to go from Atkins to Chamberlain, and as all you parents know, driving for that long with kids in the car can be, well, frustrating at times. Especially when Hannah wants “alone time” and Mary doesn’t want to leave Hannah alone. We’ll handle it (we have before) but it doesn’t mean I’m gonna like it. We find that incorporating technology (like DVD and CD players) helps.

Speaking of Hannah (and technology) earlier this spring she bought herself anMP3 player which she uses almost daily, mostly on the school bus as a way to withdraw from the sensory overload. Too much stimulation and her autism kicks in and she shuts down. Anyway, she likes to listen to “current” rock and pop stations (not the “oldies” stations that Mommy likes) so I helped her program those stations on the boombox in her room. Now she’ll go in her room, shut the door, and crank on the tunes. That’s her Hentrich side coming through, isn’t it? Well, the other day she was in her room, door open, but she was singing one of the songs she’d heard. I was coming up the stairs and when I realized what she was doing, I burst out laughing. Hannah asked why, so I told her that I was having a “deja vu” moment: that she was me and I was my Mom and it was like watching myself thirty years ago. So she goes back to her room and keeps doing whatever it was she was doing. A little later Mary comes in, and they’re playing, but Hannah is trying not to speak loudly. Mary says, “Why are you singing like that?” and Hannah says “I’m trying to whisper the song so Mom won’t get embarrassed.” And she said it so innocently. Of course I burst out laughing again. I couldn’t help it. I’ll bet you couldn’t help it, either.

Anyway – so we’ll be gone from Friday until Saturday, the 11th. I won’t have access to a computer (remember we’re going to South Dakota) so I won’t be blogging until I get back. Then I promise to blog all the highlights of our trip. Provided there are any.

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