Ask parents of school age children how summer “vacation” is, and they’ll roll their eyes at the irony.
Ask the same thing of a special needs parent, and you’ll get a catatonic stare.
Relaxation is not the operative word with young kids off the daily school routine. Parents of typically developing kids do, however, anticipate a light at the end of the tunnel when their children gain independence.
For those with special needs children, summers are expensive both in terms of lost work time by parents and money spent on outside support. That’s if special needs resources are even available. For families coping with more severe challenges, the light at the end of the tunnel from constant caregiving might never appear.
Our summers are a trade off between which parent is going to watch our son while the other parent spends sporadic hours earning income. By the time school started in mid August this year, we had pretty much missed out on typical summer activities.
On Saturday a week after school started, we determinedly gathered our summer swim stuff and made our way to our go-to swimming place north of the Golden Gate Bridge. With school already in session but the pool open until Labor Day, we had the pool entirely to ourselves.
Our son could be his quirky self without bothering other swimmers, and we had our belated flash of summer break. Bright moments don’t always follow a schedule.
Today’s Hike Notes are about the easy bayside walk at McNears Beach Park. An outing doesn’t have to be a challenging hike. Sometimes a brief stroll on a paved walkway, and quiet moments contemplating shorebirds and boats on the horizon are just the thing.
Please feel free to share. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photos!
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Hike Notes 27: McNears Beach Park
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.