Stu and I have returned from three childless nights in Cancun. It was blissfully relaxing. We stayed at an all-inclusive, adults-only, beachfront resort. We slept soundly, did a lot of lounging, floated about in the Caribbean Sea, drank fruity daiquiris, ate good food, snorkeled, zipped down water slides, and swam with dolphins. And we had practically zero responsibility. I didn't have to make bologna sandwiches on rice bread, clean up puddles of pee, ease tantrums, pack bags full of contingency items, or make plans based on naps and bedtime.
One of my favorite things about this trip was that it was a total vacation from autism. When making casual conversation with folks around the pool, we could just say "We're taking a break from our son" without getting into anything about his abilities and challenges. It was a break from making excuses or apologies for strange behavior at the playground, from keeping track of what tv show Ryan is referencing, from worrying. It felt great to walk around thinking nobody knows anything about me. Nobody knows my life is anything but typical.
So I wandered the touristy strip of downtown Playa del Carmen, sank my toes into powdery sand that never gets hot, and marveled at what a hearty people the Mexicans are. They shun the sorts of government regulation that have made Americans so soft. Small children ride on their parents' motor scooters or on laps in the front seats of cars, without seat belts. They swim among the boats in the marina, and in the path of moving jet skis. They populate the playgrounds at all hours of the evening with no visible supervision. They have vigorous sand-throwing fights. I saw one eating sand. And they appear healthy and happy. There's a lesson in that.