Friday, November 18, 2011


Today jealousy reared its ugly head, and this made me sad.

A boy in Benjy's class who has been away on vacation returned, and it turns out he was at Disney World. We have never been able to take Benjy and Saskia to Disney World, although they have had many February breaks with Grandma and Grandpa in Arizona, courtesy of G & G's frequent flyer miles. And this is something of a sore point with Ben. As long as he can remember he has wanted to go to Disney World.

So, this boy came back and talked about his lovely vacation. Then he told Ben he goes to Disney World twice a year. And then he told him he's traveled extensively across America, and has many wonderful travels to look forward to.

This made Benjy jealous and upset. So much so that he did not have a good day today.

It's hard for any parents to acknowledge that they can't give their children the things they want most. And the argument about a roof over your head, and enough food, and heat in the winter, and a family who loves you rarely pulls any weight with kids, I've noticed.

For us, this Disney-deficit is really painful. Knowing our luck, by the time we finally have a spare few thousand and can do it, our kids will be grown up. Maybe we can use the money to finance a trip to wherever college kids go on spring break these days. (This is optimistically assuming Ben will go to college, and if he does, that anyone will want to celebrate spring break with him.)

I tried to make him feel better. "You've been in Europe. I bet Billy hasn't traveled in Europe."

To which he replied caustically, "I was a BABY, mom."

That's true, he was, and the trip was to visit Lars's family. It was to be our last family trip to Europe, the last time we could afford four plane tickets. What else could I say? I considered saying, "I'm sorry," but stopped myself just in time. Apologizing for our financial insufficiency is not a precedent I wish to set.

So I did the only thing I could. Stopped at Shaw's and bought him a box of four lovely cinnamon buns. And you know what? It worked. He ate, he sang a song he despises but likes to sing anyway. He cut a few capers. And now he is contendedly occupying himself upstairs.

Mom: 1                          Green-Eyed Monster: 0


  1. I didn't hear about this one.

    We, too, don't go to Disney World. Our big vacation, when the kids were younger, was a night or two in NH up near Storyland. That even stretched our budget. Andrew won't fly, which makes our options cheaper. I took the little girls to FL early in the spring to recover from my surgery, but we were only able to do that b/c we were staying with a friend and had just gotten a tax refund.

    It stinks, but in some ways I am grateful my kids also understand that I, growing up middle class with a social worker dad and nurse mom, vacationed at campgrounds at a kid. No flying for us. No Disney. And, yes, "everyone" else in my hometown did the Disney trips. Our big "meal out" was McDonald's, and that was very, very rare.

    Our kids hopefully will grow up loving and kind, with a respect for the work their parents did to support them. Maybe with music lessons, or special trips on the T into the city.

    We do the best we can. Don't be too hard on yourself.

  2. We did Disney and it was horrible. Worst place to take K, even with our special needs pass. So, don't feel badly ; ) Jealously is something we all have to learn to cope with, autism or not. And we all do the best we can for our kids...don't feel badly about what you can't do, feel wonderful about what you can. Don't beat yourself up.

  3. Laurel and Jen, thanks for your comments! I know I shouldn't be hard on myself...but you know how moms are, being two of them yourselves. I so appreciate your support! (And yeah, I can see how Disney would be a terrible idea for our kiddos -- sensory nightmare!)