Chaos has reigned supreme in our house even more than usual lately. The dynamics between family members has caused tension and upheaval and yet another round of needed changes. Having a teenager with Aspergers, an almost-teen with depression, a ten-year-old with still undiagnosed joint pain and swelling issues, a seven year old with sensory issues, and an epic five year old all living under the same roof has proven quite a challenge. Mix in a Mama with psoriatic arthritis, depression, and anxiety, and a Daddy with his own peculiarities, and, well, things can get interesting.
And then we took our show on the road.
"To Mystic!" the kids exclaimed.
"Which part?" the Mama asked.
"All of it!" was the answer. "With Gram and Grammy when they visit from Pennsylvania!"
And so all nine of us climbed aboard the Ziggymobile for an adventure at sea. Or at sound, as it were.
The teenager moaned, groaned and sighed. "Do we have to? Why do I have to come? We've been here a million times before."
"Fudge." Mama answered.
In a funk, the twelve year old seemed not so interested in being in a vehicle with eight other people for over and hour one way. He then proceeded to fall down the concrete stairs on the way to the van. Knees banged up, but not bleeding, we threw Ziggy into the back and were off.
After partaking of a picnic lunch in the warm van, we asked the kids what was next.
"Olde Mystick Village!" they exclaimed.
"Fudge." said the sullen teen.
Off we went. First stop: the coffee shop. After all, one appreciates the fudge more when one has built up great anticipation for the eating of the fudge. One dirty chai later, and Mama was ready for more adventures.
Next, the children stormed Munsons in search of fudge and chocolate dipped dessert goodness. Sweets procured, we settled onto a stone wall to watch the ducks, and so the ten-year-old could rest her hurting legs before we continued our adventure.
"I need to go potty!" signaled our exodus from the land of window shopping to Mystic Aquarium, conveniently located right across the street. An excited professor seven year old excitedly showed his grandmother and great-grandmother around the aquarium, stopping often to point out his favorites.
As always, the feisty belugas provided wonderful entertainment, as did the kids.
At last, our expedition was coming to an end. Tired, some of us sore, and most of us hungry, we dined on burgers and fries and headed home.
We all learned a lot. I learned a great deal about how much mental and emotional energy it takes to deal with the many arrangements of dynamics between my family members. I was reminded of many of the special needs of my kids, and how on my toes I need to be having not only Captain Oblivious, but Lieutenant Oblivious on my hands, neither of whom seems capable of perceiving the people around them - or moving vehicles for that matter. And best of all, I was reminded once again why I love my big, crazy, chaotic family.