Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Autism Answer: Social Skills, Academics, Life skills, and Family Love-Living on Vacation

My little sister, Brandessa, and my little brother, Rye, were hanging out with me at a resort in East Texas. 

We were taking advantage of the timeshare my mom bought years and years ago. Back when we lived in an RV and my mom was homeschooling my brothers because school had done nothing but stifle, scare, and hurt them. Back when we lived in an RV and traveled the country and discovered a resort offering unheard of deals in order to get people in the place and the business off the ground. 

Back when my mom cleverly took advantage of happy vacationers and activity centers to teach social skills to my socially challenged brothers. Back when I was living with mom so that she could help me raise my boys and I could return the favor by trying to help her raise my brothers. 

Two of my sons were born in cabins at these resorts. All of my brothers learned years worth of academics and social etiquette at these resorts. They made mistakes, and then we'd switch locations, and then they'd do better, and then they stopped making mistakes. My entire family feels at home in these resorts. 

Last week my little sister, Brandessa, drove in from California with her family and her children while my little brother, Rye, took a couple days off of work to visit and swim in the pool. Some of my sons (the ones still living with me) and I drove up and sort of played host, arriving before everyone and leaving last.

All of our children agreed that the resort feels like home.

There is no way we could have known for sure, years and years ago when my mom took my brothers out of school and we lived in timeshares and an RV that we were for sure doing something that would play a huge role in the learning and growing of generations of us. 

But we did know it could. 

So, mom did it. 

And although mom couldn't make it to the resort this trip, although mom had to work and miss out on the family shenanigans and joy and memories and mini golf and late night tennis games surrounded by Texas sized bug clouds, mom was there. In our gratitude, in our conversations, and in the skills we have as siblings and parents to make those fun things happen. 

Mom could (and does!) find joy in the knowledge that she helped create us!

This picture of my little sister, Brandessa, and my little brother, Rye, is possible because of mom's ability to always see possibility, and to then take the next step into action. 

And also, it's a picture of two people that I love very much!!

Hugs, smiles, and love!!

Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook) 

Brandessa and Rye!
Feeling at home in the Cabin.
A view of the lake from the activity center.