Our cabin is a retreat of sorts. It is the place I go when I want to think or just get away from it all. Since I’ve been out here this summer, I’ve been to the cabin dozens of times, often with Emma in tow. She loves it as much as I do. So when Richard and I proposed that we do an overnight at the cabin, Emma was ecstatic. This has been the first summer we’ve been able to contemplate doing an overnight in the cabin with both children as last summer, we were in the midst of our anti-bedwetting campaign. The cabin has no running water and therefore no toilet. There is an outhouse just up the mountain, but it is far enough away that in the dead of night one is more likely to lie in ones sleeping bag, trying to cope with the discomfort of having to pee, than to make the trek to the outhouse. But Emma no longer wears diapers to bed, thankfully, making a trip to the cabin all the more attractive.
We packed up our stuff, making sure everyone had an outer layer, and headed out, Emma could barely contain herself. When we arrived, Emma raced inside, pulled out her nightgown and said, “Time for bed!”
Meanwhile, Richard dragged chairs out onto the porch, while I arranged sleeping bags on each of the two platform beds. We convinced Emma to sit out on the porch with us to watch the sunset.
Both Nic and Emma wanted to sit in the rocking chairs with their sleeping bags covering them.
As we sat together we pointed out the bats who came out at dusk.
“Bats are going to bite you!” Emma exclaimed, jumping into my lap.
“No, no, Emmy. The bats eat insects, they’re not interested in us at all.”
Still, Emma was nervous and I think relieved when only a few bats showed themselves.
“Bye-bye bats!” Emma said.
The clouds overhead became more ominous. By 9:00PM both children had retreated to the safety of their bed. As I read to them, the rain began to pound the roof. There is something comforting about being inside a big one room cabin, warm and safe while the weather rages just beyond.
The following morning, the clouds had lifted, both children ended up in the one large platform bed with Richard and me. By the time we made it back to the main house we were covered in mud and wet leaves.
“Go back to the cabin?” Emma said. Then with a sly grin she added, “Sleep in the cabin again!”
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to: www.EmmasHopeBook.com