For This Mom's Summer, The Stars Moved

phyllislombby Phyllis Lombardi

My son comes home tomorrow from his summer holiday — one that has already made this a very different kind of summer.

Summer can mean so many things: a new wardrobe, a new job, a new semester, vacations, camp, slower schedules.

For most, it's the end to the school year. Kids are happy. Parents? Well, a mixed swirl of emotion, from relief to worry: now what? No structure or homework, but long hot days of idle hands.

LombardiboyscroppedMost kids in our neighborhood go away to summer camp. My kids never did that. In my family, you don't leave until you’re married and even then, it's appreciated if you live in the basement for a few years.My son Joey, being special (he has autism) and needing as much education as possible, needs full year to school, so he's in school until mid-August. My older son, Nicholas, volunteers during the summer: With special-ed kids at a day camp. And I get to tuck my boys in and go to sleep knowing they are in the next room. What could be better?

Well this year something happened. A cousin asked Nicholas to come to Florida for three weeks.

The decision was easy enough. I trust that cousin with my soul, and would love to give Nick the chance to enjoy a few weeks without autism. Why not? Well did I open a can of worms. And he emailed me the clip from the video-cam: Yes, my boy is happy and yes, I couldn't be more thrilled as I watch my cousin kiss and hug him, mentioning tell me how Nick is hers for three whole weeks. In the clip my son blushes and tells me she's spoiling him. What a gift --what joy my heart feels. And so proud of my confident, honest, good-natured boy that fits in so well, who is on his way to being his own person.

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