“Buy the ticket, take the ride.”- Hunter S. Thompson
Last week, the kids and I took a trip to Boca Raton and then a Disney Cruise out of Miami. I showed lots of lovely photos of the fun we had, but what I didn’t show was how completely terrified I was of doing it at all.
One of my earliest fears after Mia was born was that we’d never be able to take a big trip together – where we take a plane and stay in a hotel. Somehow during my early days of Down syndrome parenthood, I expected to be housebound and always depressed.
We did do a couple drives to Colorado when Mia was little and I was still married. And then the fear subsided a little, but it still lingered around. “She’s easy now, but what happens when she has an opinion?”
And then I became a single mom and then it was “How would this ever be possible? By yourself?”
Over the past year, I’ve started to realize how often I let fear take the wheel. In the fall, I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. There was a great section where she talked about her fear and how she personalized it and gave it a name. So I named my fear. No offense to anyone with this name, but it popped into my head. Becky. My fear is named Becky. And she is the worst friend ever.
“You know Mia will never handle a plane trip.”
“What if they hate every minute and you’re stuck on a ship with them.”
“I bet they won’t eat anything.”
“What if she’s terrified of the characters? Then what will you do?”
“If you don’t bring that stroller, you’re going to be sorry.”
And on and on and on. She is really the absolute worst. Until I had personified her, I had no idea how much she talked. It’s a constant barrage of all the things Fynn, Mia, and I will never be able to do. She just never shuts up.
Sometimes I’m nice to her, “Geez, Becky, I understand you’re afraid, but I think it will be okay.” Other times, like the Wednesday when I was packing for the trip, I said, “For the love of all that is good and holy, Becky, can you just shut the #$%^ up?!”
Because the truth is that “Becky” is that little voice in my head that tells me how unworthy and incapable I am of big things. And I just can’t let her take the wheel anymore. Because had I listened to her, we would have never driven to the airport.
And the trip was absolutely amazing. Were there bumps in the road, of course, but nothing we or I couldn’t handle.
Mia was amazing on both plane rides. Fynn was the best helper at the airport and really anytime I asked for help. My dad was a trooper and was a great backup, and the kids and I loved having him there.
The little AirBnB we stayed at was lovely and close to the beach. We got to meet up with family for the day before the trip.
The Disney Cruise was really an amazing time. I had no doubts about Fynn, but I was so surprised how there for it all Mia was. She had a great time, had a fantastic attitude, and was the perfect age to see the magic. Down syndrome isn’t always rainbows and unicorns, but Mia was definitely a magical unicorn on this trip.
We all have so many beautiful memories together. Because we have big important things to do here. Even if it’s just a magical trip with Mickey Mouse. Fear can come along for the ride, but she needs to start sitting the backseat…maybe the trunk.