On the Road Again

I’m short on time, but long on memories of a weekend road trip to Washington with Ryan. With Riley hosting a birthday slumber party, it was time for the boys to vacate the premises. For the second straight year, the NHL playoff schedule cooperated, allowing us to catch a Saturday afternoon game against the Rangers, stay over at our favorite hotel, and stop by Caps practice Sunday morning before heading home.

Once again, we saw a dramatic game won by the Capitals. This time, by a 1-0 score in overtime. Once again, Caps defenseman Mike Green provided the game-winning goal. Once again, Ryan and I celebrated like little kids.

But more important was the time spent together, pursuing our favorite activity — especially given the rough night we went through on Thursday. Ryan showed a few signs of nerves during the Saturday evening games, but nothing to derail our fun.

An intense period of time spent in such close contact with Ryan is very revealing. I continued to notice his improved verbal communication skills. He opened up to me about his anxiety over this week’s standardized testing in school.

He also amazed me with his recall. I should be beyond being surprised by his memory at this point, but I’m not. He was happily watching NHL highlights on my laptop Saturday afternoon. I had the Kentucky Derby on TV and was trying to get him to pick a horse. He looked up at the screen where the field was listed for perhaps one full second before announcing “I’ll take ‘I’ll Have Another'” — that being the name of last year’s Derby winner. We watched the race from this same hotel last year, but I don’t recall discussing it. But once again, his memory tops mine.

When I implored him to pick one of this year’s horses he looked up once more and said “Orb.”

The winner.

Of course.

There’s so much I want to say about this trip and yet so little I need to. I want to say how remarkable it is to spend that much time together without issue. But a part of me doesn’t want it to be remarkable at all: Just a father and son away for a weekend, pursuing a favorite activity. Of course it went well.

But I also know it’s no small thing, especially with all that has troubled Ryan lately. We had some minor bumps — a missing waffle maker from the breakfast buffet, a return to the hotel to retrieve a forgotten item, a crashed iPad game, some bouts with traffic — but nothing that derailed us.

For us, that will always be something to celebrate.

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11 thoughts on “On the Road Again

  1. So glad you guys had a great weekend! You needed it!

    Hey, just a thought… You’ve written a lot lately about Ryan’s increased ability to communicate, and also his increased anxiety. Have you noticed a change in his eating and sleeping habits? Eating a lot more or a lot less? Sleeping more or less? We’ve noticed with our Bubs that whenever he has a growth spurt (sleeping more and eating almost nothing for a few days, followed by eating like a horse for a week) he also has a developmental burst paired with an increase in some of his sensory seeking behaviors. And his temper is hair trigger short too. Just a thought. We usually don’t put it all together and realize it’s a growth spurt until afterwards.

    Our house is all over the place during the first round of the playoffs. Hubby’s team is the Penguins, mine’s the Blues and the boys are following the Blackhawks of course. I’ll root for everyone right now, until we start playing each other!

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    1. We have definitely noticed patterns in the past related to things like growth and development spurts. You’re right, it’s often that you don’t realize what’s going on until after the time has passed. Thanks for the thought.

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