A few years ago I went to visit my sister for a few days in Phoenix. As we were returning to her house from our favorite artsy/bookmaking store she said “So…I’m not trying to be morbid, but with you and Chris traveling together soon; it got me thinking. If anything happened to the two of you and the girls came to us, I would have no idea what all they would need, especially Skylar. Do you mind writing down her medications, therapies, doctors, etc.?” Well that was a great suggestion! I wrote everything down for her and shared with her as we were driving some of the little things we did to make each day easier for Skylar.
Fast forwarding to the present….a few months back Chris mentioned to me that he would be traveling to the Air and Space conference in Washington D.C. in September and I mentioned how it would be awesome if I could go with him. Well, I didn’t have to mention that twice! He picked up the phone and called my mom to see if that was a possibility. She said that she would love to do that as she knew we needed some alone time together. I love that he was confident in their relationship to ask my mom for such a HUGE favor. Chris is very close with both of my parents and I often times joke that they love him more than me. Chris likes to joke back that he thinks that is true.
As much as I was excited to take a trip by ourselves I also worried about how my mom would do with us being gone for 5 days. They have stayed with her for a day or so during the summer, but not during school, in a town she doesn’t know, with all of their activities and appointments. I knew that I was going to have to be extremely detailed in my list I left for her. Also, Skylar is in the middle of hyperbaric chamber treatments which she needs to do every day. My mom came in a few days early in order to learn how to operate the chamber. I must admit I was quite nervous about how she would do operating the chamber as she calls Chris for computer & electronic advice constantly. She actually picked up on what all to do immediately and we left town with no worries that the hyperbaric treatments would be carried out perfectly!
Preparing to leave your “typical” children with someone whether it be a friend or family is a lot for anyone. Leaving a child with special needs requires quite a bit of extra preparation.
The picture above shows all the stuff we left for my mom to have a successful, drama-free week. The contents include:
-a daily account of all the activities for that day (Mondays-dance class, Tues/Thurs-chiropractor, etc.)
-a specific print-out of instructions for the hyperbaric chamber including pictures
-a list of important phone numbers (local friends of mine that she could contact if necessary as well as the schools, pediatrician, dentist, etc.)
-a detailed list of both of the girls’ doctors and specialists
-insurance cards & Skylar’s military dependent ID card
-a copy of both of our wills & a list of Chris’ family members to contact in case anything happened to the both of us
*I also had notified both of the girls’ teachers to let them know that we would be out of town.
Some might think that leaving our wills and a list of things we would want done and who to contact in the event of our deaths is really morbid. Believe me when I tell you that this information was not easy to write and I cried several times thinking of that scenario. HOWEVER, as hard as it was to do, it had to be done. I have known of several instances in my life where something tragic happened to a family and they had nothing in place. Chris and I both agreed that as morbid as it may be, we wanted our desires known and that my family needed to know our wishes for the girls’ futures. Better to be prepared for something that might not happen than not prepare our family for a future raising our kids.
We had a wonderful trip and the best part was that besides Chris being in his conference during the day, we had no schedule and no set plans. We just took each moment as it came. My most favorite part of the trip was sitting on a bench on the capitol mall eating a hot dog and chatting about life in general. It was nothing fancy, but it was PERFECT!
I want to thank my mom again for coming in and taking such great care of the girls. They loved their time with grandma and WE loved having special time together.