Among the many glorious sites we enjoyed during our visit to Park City, Utah:
Park City, Utah's free transit system; above, Max on a bus.
The lift to Canyons ski resort.
Deer Valley Resort's fleet of 30 Cadillac Escalades, used to transport guests. We all loved the automatic "assist steps" that popped out when you stepped in.
Not pictured: Deer Valley Resort's shuttles. Or the Range Rover we rode in when we visited the Montage hotel. Or the airport train we did a loop on before we went through the security line, even though we were already in the right terminal.
Yes, it's true: I spent part of my vacation riding around in various modes of transportation, and often we weren't headed anywhere in particular—Max just wanted to ride. The day we visited Canyons, riding the lift is pretty much all we did, outside of a hot chocolate stop. Another afternoon, Max and I made several loops on a Deer Valley shuttle.
And one afternoon, we repeatedly rode up and down the funicular. A couple who'd gotten off returned 20 minutes later to find Max and me still on it, looking like permanent fixtures.
Years ago, I would have resisted letting Max ride around aimlessly. Way to waste a good (and not cheap!) trip, I would have thought. How boring. I am not going to give in. Or maybe I would have given in and just sat there, feeling bummed that this is what my life had come to: riding around shuttles on vacation with a kid who only wanted to sit in the back seat and peer out the window at the passing scenery.
But that was then. Now we make this part of our vacation, and either Dave or I ride around with Max on the local forms of transportation (and around and around and around). I'll talk about stuff we pass by, check my email on my iPhone, relax. We do this within reason: If we're taking up seats on a crowded shuttle, we get off. Or if Max had, say, wanted to eat dinner in the funicular, I wouldn't have let him, because I'm a tough-ass that way. Although we did have a leetle snack.
Letting go of perceptions of the way things "should" be with Max, on vacation and otherwise, has taken me a long time. I so wanted him to enjoy life the way the rest of us did. But being on things that go is Max's idea of fun, more so than tubing or visiting a museum, and I've come to realize that.
Sometimes, I still impose my own ideas of happiness on Max and my spirits crash and burn when things don't pan out, which is what happened at his birthday party this year. But mostly, I've accepted Max's quirky sense of a good time. It's helped me stress less, let go of sadness and sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.