It’s That Time Of Year Again…

collard family

It’s that time of year again.

It’s once a year that I get to lower my guard and trust the people we love to care for our children in our absence- which for me is a hard thing to do. Every day, 24 hours, 365 days, 360° of watching out for our kids is our normal. The fact that our sons have autism and a seizure disorder, has become the all-consuming part of our lives, which I take very seriously. Whether it’s just walking through a parking lot, or choosing the foods Zachie can eat according to his newest diet. To ensure that their medications are right and are picked up on time for the next day, or making sure the refrigerator is full ahead of time for their needs.

Being a father to a five-year-old is demanding but rewarding, and caring for 16-year-old special-needs twins has it’s own challenges and yet it’s still joyful and powerful. Every minute of every day, I’m concerned and vigilant about their care and happiness.


So now comes the week- one week a year where I have to force myself to let it all go. It’s almost impossible. Erin and I take off for a week to go to a gathering in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada with 65,000 other people at Burning Man. There, Erin and I get the time to bond once again in a way that we don’t the rest of the year. We’re almost giddy for the experience. Every couple gets stuck in a rut with their partner, and for us, Burning Man is one of the ways to make sure we can avoid being dragged down. The freedom of time and lack of responsibility is almost mind blowing. We can go and do anything we want at any time and it is all about us. Some people go to the mountains, or golf, and others go fishing. Or, maybe work on their hobbies. One week a year, I have to trust enough to let it all go- which I am not very good at. I still worry and Erin is in contact our kids at home daily and the only question I ask her after her conversation is “is everyone okay?” For this one week a year that’s all I need to know.

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