My Path to Choose
My Path to Choose
Years ago, my Mother’s Day wish was to take my severely autistic son to Kirby Cove. Friends had recommended this beach down a steep trail just north of Golden Gate Bridge, and it had become a holy grail quest for me to get there.
It wasn’t far away, and it wasn’t a difficult trail, but my son’s autism challenges had us virtually housebound. It felt like an almost impossible goal to achieve, not just as a marker for my son’s progress, but for me to do something for myself.
The brilliant young teacher helping us get Sean out in the world at that time knew of my Kirby Cove goal for Mother’s Day. He showed up for his Sunday 1 PM Sean-support gig. The fog horns were blaring, and places near Golden Gate Bridge like our Kirby Cove destination were surely embedded in fog.
“I guess we can try again next time,” I said wistfully, yet again pushing a personal goal down the line for “someday.”
“I think we should go where we planned on going,” our wise and intuitive autism helper countered firmly.
We went to Kirby Cove as planned. The fog burned off, and the sun sparkled on the waves of that pretty place just as I’d imagined. It is still one of my happiest days in memory.
Flash forward to current Mother’s Day weekend when my wish for the day was again to try a new hike.
“Roy’s Redwoods!” I’d announced repeatedly for weeks as our Mother’s Day trail destination.
When the day came, I started my, “Too far to drive, too many things to do, can’t make myself a priority” routine. Then I stopped. What would our teacher have told me to do? He’d tell me to go where I had chosen, where my heart was tugging me.
And so we did. I felt the same happy lifting of spirits I’d felt years ago at Kirby Cove when I allowed myself to take the path I’d chosen.
Caregivers sometimes need help sticking to plans for our own wellbeing. Remember that the people around you will be better off if you are healthier and happier. Keep putting one foot forward!
This week’s Hike Notes, Roy’s Redwoods Loop Trail, leads readers along a path featuring redwoods, bay, madrone and oak trees, highlighted by wildflowers and birdsongs.
Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Browse hikes on the main Hikes page or on the Hike Search by Area (was Quick View Hike List) page. Check out selected articles and interviews under Media. Click World Walks to see or share favorite family-friendly walks! Stay in touch with Lisa Louis and HikingAutism via Contact. The Links page lists a loose collection of helpful information links.
Check the Home page for the broader background story. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photo galleries at the bottom of each hike page! Feel free to share on Facebook at HikingAutism, follow on Twitter at @HikingAutism and Instagram at lisalouis777
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Hike Notes 181: Roy’s Redwoods Loop Trail
5/21/2023 08:13:46 pm
This one brought tears to my eyes. I am not even sure why. Maybe because we are so used to putting others first. (Still trying to absorb the oxygen mask/airplane analogy.) Such a beautiful post. I love that autism whisperer and I never even knew him in life. XO
5/21/2023 08:34:32 pm
Thank you for sharing your tearful response and admiration for our beloved autism whisperer, dear Alison. I don't know if you heard the podcast interview that ended up being a tribute to him.
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Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.