Wednesday, February 24, 2010

T-Man in Costa Rica

T-Man went to Costa Rica the day after Christmas with his zoo group. They returned January fourth. I really thought it would be much easier sending T-Man to Costa Rica then when we sent Dugger there two years ago. With Dugger's, Asperger's Syndrome, I worried about him losing his passport, not eating well, spending all his money in one day, not being social, and not expressing himself well (such as acting disinterested when he really was interested in what was going on). I was pretty sure he would handle changes and be able to go with the flow if things didn't happen as planned. He is a seasoned traveler and has had to adjust to those unforeseen changes that can occur.

Things went really well for Daniel. He brought money back home. Bought some nice mementos and remembered to bring back some brochures for a scrap book. He kept a journal and talked non stop for weeks. Earned the nickname Mr. Harpie Eagle Man and Angus. Evidently Dugger sings ACDC and Guns& Roses songs very well. I know the adults in charge raved about him and would have taken him again. They commented that if T-Man was as good a traveler as Dugger they would be thrilled.

T-Man is another great traveler. Actually all my kids are. They are so use to going on road trips and have traveled by train and plane several times. They know how to live out of a suitcase (not sure if they know how to pack one). For ages I thought that sending T-man off would be a piece of cake, no worries. He is my best eater, most gregarious, somewhat responsible. Yet he is the one that has had an I-pod and a game boy stolen. Although he runs neck and neck with his sister in being the biggest hypochondriac. He is my lotions, elastic bandages, and tums baby. I always say that a band-aid, tissue, and an m&m will cure 98% of what ails a kindergartner. Well an elastic bandage and tums will cure 98% of what ails T-man.

Since the summer we had been buying or sorting out the things T-Man would need on his tropical vacation. We bought swim trucks and sandals on sale at the end of the season. Made sure he had a windbreaker/rain jacket, deet, and sunscreen before winter set in and these items became scarce. In the days leading up to his flight we began gathering his clothes and supplies. We realized that the travel bag he was going to take hadn't been used since Duggger trip. It smelled and still has sand from Costa Rica in it. A wash and an airing out solved that problem. We soon had him packed with room to spare. I tried to get T-man to take a small notepad and pen/pencil to write down important thoughts and keep a record of events. Absolutely not!!

Then came the "little" medical kit I was going to pack for him. I ended up filling a gallon zip-loc bag with aloe for sunburn, an assortment of different sized band-aids, Tylenol, Chlor-Trimeton, Tums, cough drops, anti-bacterial cream, and Benadryl. T-Man then asked for Vick's vapor rub. I ran out and bought him a tiny travel size as we were running out of space and I picked up Dramamine for the boat ride. I jokingly suggested he take his elastic knee bandage and when he headed to his room to get it Doug yelled at him to not take. That was over the top.

I worried about him getting sick or feeling sick. Then I began to worry about his gregarious nature. He was traveling with one very good friend and several other kids that he had become friendly with over the course of social activities related to the trip. I worried that he would exclude others in his friendship with his really good friend. I worried he would be too silly and not be as respectful as he should. I made myself crazy with worry.

It turned out he had a great time, behaved well, was not sick at all, and my fair skinned boy didn't get sunburned. He earned the nickname Mr. Harpie Eagle Man's brother and Timoteo. He took some great pictures with an expensive camera that he had been saving for and he came back with it. He even managed to buy me an ox cart and managed to navigate traveling back with it. Did he talk much about the trip? No. Did he bring money back? Yes. Did he enjoy downloading and editing his pictures? You bet!! We joke that he must have captured every species of lizard they have in Costa Rica. It was a wonderful experience for him (and I). Will I worry the next time he travels without me? Absolutely!!

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