Vacation begins now

Earlier this week, I posted a picture of our overly detailed road trip itinerary on Instagram. A friend of mine commented, "how organized (OCD) are you?"

For the record, I do have some strong OCD tendencies. No, really, I do. But we're also travelling with kids on the autism spectrum. Life with autism is better when there's a plan.

While the potential for an aspie styled meltdown imploding while nearly 1000 miles away from home is enough to pause any parent with a sliver of trepidation, there are other things that make me nervous about this trip.

Here are five things that make the idea of cramming my family into a car for a multi-day journey worries me.

1. Space. Our SUV holds seven passengers. There's enough room to spread out our kids and mitigate a majority of sibling quarreling. However, it also gets horrid gas mileage. So we're trading cars with my mother-in-law (who will also be dog-sitting/house-sitting for us). Her car will double the miles we can travel on one gallon of gasoline. It will also place our three children shoulder to shoulder for the entire time spent in the vehicle.

2. Boredom. Like most kids, ours are at their worst when they're bored. However, boredom drives most kids to be restless - possibly annoying. Ours just get destructive. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. And someone always gets hurt, even if it's just their feelings.

3. Differences. Bekah and I have very different definitions of what happens on road trips. My idea of perfect road trips is driving with the music turned up with poppy songs so that I can sing along. Bekah's opinion is that road trips should be filled with conversation, from the time you leave your driveway until you reach your destination. She's not wrong, it's a lovely idea. But I'm a horrible conversationalist - the same is true with the one person I love more than any other in this world. I suck at conversing for extended periods of time. I'm also narcoleptic when I'm not driving.

4.Uncertainty. The drive from here to there is planned out to the littlest detail. Every moment of the trip is plotted. Once we get there, events are not so certain. We have plans set for three of the five days that we're there. But the other two? Eh? And we do not have anything predetermined for the drive home. This lack of vacation strategy might work for most families, but in ours no scheme leads to problem number two (see above).

5. JJ. The kid is, to some extent, a bully. I'm not sure how it happened because I was not a bully when I was growing up. Despite being the youngest of our three, he derives a certain pleasure from making his brother and/or sister cry. Other people find him well behaved, adorable, and endearing in a million ways. He is, but not always. I just hope his aggression stays within the immediate family. Or is left at home. He can be sweet. He can be charming. That's the kid that I hope shows up in Cheyenne.

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