My daughter Katharine has Down syndrome, she is 8 years old, and aside from the extra chromosome she is my mini-me. I enjoy everything we do together, but I especially like introducing her to new life experiences. This summer I was able to do that by traveling to states that neither of us had been to before.
First, we went on a quick weekend trip to Illinois to visit family, which took us through Kentucky (a new one for her, not me). Then after two days rest at home, we went on a week-long trip to Connecticut with more family. This was immediately followed by a three day whirlwind trip through the rest of New England with my mother. We named our trip the Triple K Explosion (our names - Kathy, Katie and Katharine!) and had a special handshake to go with it! Each time we got out of the car to see the sights, we would have a great time and then as we climbed back in for the next leg, Katharine would get so excited and say “Trip? Mommy, Nana, me, trip!”
Throughout all of the driving, sightseeing, and two nights in motels, Katharine loved every minute of it and was my awesome travel buddy! We saw things like a 200-year-old house and animal topiary garden in Rhode Island, the Salem Witch Museum in Massachusetts, the Clydesdales at Annheiser-Busch, ate at a 90 year old diner in New Hampshire, saw the ocean off of the coast of Maine, and covered bridges in Vermont. And all of this was in the span of just three days! Katharine is the happiest little girl I have ever seen, and her smile and laugh are so infectious, you can not help but smile with her.
Everywhere we go she says hi to everyone she sees, I always joke that she thinks she’s the official greeter of whatever store or restaurant we are in! When she is in the car she loves listening to music, singing along to anything with a tune. She has her favorites, but she will accept any genre and dance along to it in her seat. And although she has a severe speech delay she knows the words and inflections of songs after hearing them only a few times. Being in the car with her and listening to her sing along is so much fun, I don’t even mind hearing the same Phineas and Ferb songs every time we drive somewhere! She can have her moods, just like any child, but when she smiles at me, I forgive her any attitude that she was giving me and just smile back. I couldn’t ask for a better travel companion than my Bubby and I look forward to continuing our adventures for years to come!