Time to head home!
The goodbyes were hard last night. It felt strange to know that Kati would not be meeting us this morning. Today, I am on my own. I am writing on the plane and I am marveling at the difference in how I am feeling compared to when I was flying to Portland 6 days ago. I am relying less on faith and more on confidence in my new skills. I don’t know how to predict what life will be like at home, but I believe more firmly than ever that this is the right path for us.
As I look back on this week, I understand why the program works the way it does. On a personal level, this week has been a break that I really needed. It has been years since I have been “on my own” and free of the duties of childcare. It has been years since I have had time to think about other things besides autism and behavior management and medication dosing. In this new environment, I have been free to clear my mind of mothering 2 girls and a boy with autism to make room for learning the skills required to be a good dog handler. I have opened up and given myself over to Kati and the program so that I can absorb all of this new knowledge as my only priority.
Truthfully, I feel a little guilty about how wonderful this trip has been. It really has been a vacation. Kati loves food like I love food. To say that we have made the most of the incredible Portland food scene is an understatement. Five days of 2-3 hour lunches eating unbelievably delicious food is hardly a hardship. I rationalize that we have a lot to discuss and the more I tell her about my life, the better equipped she will be to help our family. In reality, we could have had our discussions in any environment, but the fun we have had together (Hope, Kati and I) has bonded all of us and I know that our friendship will be lasting.