Friends in the most unlikely of places

When you have a big family you limit yourself to outings and events as it proves challenging to take everyone places. When you have all boys, you add to the “limitation equation” but when you have a child with extra needs you also find that the invitations taper off.

I have never taken offense to this occurence and as a parent of 4 boys ages 4-9 and one with Autism I know that my family does not fit in everywhere I may have enjoyed being pre-kids.

I can tell you though that it gets very solitary being this type of family and for a social person, such as I am, there is a toll that is taken as the years pass. When before I might have always had a companion to do things with on the weekend or weekend night I often find that I am alone. It is the norm for me and the boys to spend a weekend alone without company and visitors are a special bonus when they come to our home, or out to events with us. They are a gift and not a given.

After 7 summers of hanging close to home and being protective of my boys I decided it was time for me and my Husband to find a hobby to get out and mingle.My oldest son had progressed very well and was now able to be left with a knowledgable sitter or family member who was big hearted enough to take all 4 kids for the day! (a lot to ask of anyone really)

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After a conversation with a kind and happy older gentleman about his Motorcycle Club I decided to go out on a limb and see if maybe “bike life” might be a good but strange fit for us!

My husband had rode a bike PK (pre kids) and despite the fact he never really enjoyed it as much as he would have like to in the T dot, I felt I could get him to agree to give it a try out in his new home of Durham Region.

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I come off as a little bad ass and tough girl so I thought that I might just enjoy the bike life and in the back of my head I craved the freedom of the open road since I had been tightly leashed by the restraints of motherhood for 8 years.

Despite how great those years have been and how much I wanted these years I have to admit there are times that giving 24 hrs or everyday to 4 boys and a Husband is JUST a little much, regardless of how giving in nature one is. Throw in a full-time job with as 2 hr commute each day, some pets and any extracurricular activities and you have a woman just dying to let loose and relax, even just for an hour or two each week.

I knew though that I had very little free time AND ideally it would be prudent to have my family enjoy the time with me so A) Everyone had the opportunity to be happy and enjoy themselves B) I would not have to choose between my family or my hobby and C) I would give my family a sense of acceptance and that is very important to forge ahead and grow confidently and proudly together as people. No body should ever feel they cannot be themselves completely, especially with family and friends. The 050 has quickly become both of those things to all 6 of us.

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I signed up and went home and told my Husband I had joined a bike club.

I am pretty sure he thought I had lost my marbles.

After going out to meet the gang we quickly agreed we needed this more than we thought.

As summer came we found that our merrier gang of butter tart lovers also loved to make people welcome and would bend over backward to make us feel at home. Whether it was special draw prizes that strangely all four boys won or the patience in waiting for the boys to grab a snack and washroom break at Tims when really everyone was ready to KSU and get on to the adventure or taking the time to swim and play with my rough and tumble boys These big hearts naturally made us feel as we belonged.

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Through out the summer it became routine to meet up for a ride and saunter over to the “mammamobile” and say hello to the boys. On most rides the bright Caravan trailed behind the troops protectively tailgunning to keep outsides away from the pack while watching over the flock, like a Mom instinctively does.

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My boys knew that Saturday meant CMC outings and they looked forward to seeing their ‘bike friends” Wednesdays are bike club night and they waited patiently at home for me and Jack to arrive home so they could go out to see the ‘club’

I know that there were likely many family members and friends that internally cringed when I said I joined a Motorcycle club but I am confident all of them changed that perception quickly once they saw how easily we flourished under their kindness.

My friends and family have come out to some CMC events and everyone that has cannot say more complimentary things about our CMC family.

I can’t promise that everyone that joins gets as much as my family out of the experience but I can tell you that the CMC truly is unique and I have never met a nicer bunch of bikers.

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The Mammamobile at Old Forge

The Mammamobile at Old Forge

I can’t wait to get out this year on my own bike and enjoy the beauty of the pack and the freedom of the open road while The “Daddymobile” trails behind and I hope to be around to see my own boys ride along with the 050!

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6 thoughts on “Friends in the most unlikely of places

  1. Amanda I came across (and Tweeted about) an article – http://t.co/VBpI3I2X4t – referring to a cruise line being certified for accommodating Autistic individuals.

    I was thinking about the challenges in sourcing travel and leisure options that are family-friendly (uniquely so) for you and your family.

    Maybe this could be another option in your arsenal for providing quality downtime for your family.

    Stafford

    • Thanks!
      I will definately take a look and keep in mind.
      A few years ago we signed up for a trip to Disney that Autism Ontario organized and found resources and line passes, a few after hour magic kingdom things and were all set to go when our then 18 month old put the kybosh on us as he refused to stay still and not make a growly face for his passport pic. I ended up finally breaking down into tears and calling it off, just too much effort and it was not getting easier. (normally I could be tied to a railroad track and still never admit defeat so that is how stressful it was)
      It was a good thing because we took the kids to Canada’s wonderland a month or so later and they lasted 4 whole hrs before saying they were done and ready to go home! LOL. They might be getting old enough to travel now though 🙂

      Thanks Friend!

  2. I just found your blog and I swear it is like you are talking to me except it didn’t take me 8 years to get to this point, it took 15! 15 years of giving up everything to be the mom that I always wanted to be. It took a long time to figure out how lonely I had truly become. We pulled our aspergers son out of school because all the problems there were so bad. So now he does virtual school from home with my guidance, I work from home so we really have very very little outside contact. Heck my husband is a truck driver so he is rarely even around. I needed to hear from another autism mom that I am not a horrible person for just wanting other people in my life.

    • It is human to crave human attention and commradery, that is what life is ALLL about!
      When you give so much of yourself it gets lonely BUT you are never really alone, we are all out there.
      You have made one new friend today!
      A

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