Friday, June 17, 2011

Save Those Sad Eyes for Someone Else...

I thought I had experienced our best day yet here...but I was wrong. Last night on the boardwalk something happened that you will NOT believe. Last night was, quite possibly, one of the greatest nights of my life.

My Mom made these chest straps for Gavin so I could strap him to chairs. I travel with it always just in case I need it somewhere. Last night as we walked around all of the rides - it occurred to me that I might be able to sit Gavin on a ride by himself. Just the thought of that made me nervous - so I watched this car ride carefully to see if there was one that might work. Once I picked a cute little two seater car...and I got Daddy's agreement...we decided to give it a try.

I stood in line behind a woman with two little boys about the same age as Gavin and Brian. She seemed a little frazzled and was snapping at them as they excitedly jumped all over waiting to go on the ride. She saw me holding the chest strap and a piece of rug gripper and shot me a confused look...so I told her my plan. And then it happened...

"Oh, you poor thing. I'm so sorry," as she looked at me and then Gavin with sad eyes, "I know how hard it is with two - it must feel like you have four!" I am used to this kind of reaction - but I don't really get it. So, I told her what I have wanted to tell many, many people over the last three years...and it is this:

Please don't feel sorry for him. Or me. I actually feel sorry for you! It's easy for a Mom like you, with "typical" challenges at home, to miss the excitement of the little things. I feel lucky because my joys are extra joyful! I don't take anything - and I mean anything - for granted. If I had two "typical" children, I might take things for granted a lot more. Life with a child who has special needs puts everything into perspective and, to me, that is such a huge gift. I told her to watch Gavin as he takes his first ride with his little brother - without me. He will be just as excited as her children. And I will probably be more excited than everyone because I know just how huge this moment is.

The gate opened and Ed and I made our way to the car I chose. Gavin sat on the rug gripper and I was able to weave the chest strap around the back of the seat. Brian sat next to him and they were both so excited. Ed and I walked out behind the gate and I held my breath. From the second the ride started until it ended (we paid for two back to back rides!) they were all smiles. It was hard for me to take pictures - between my heart beating out of my chest and the tears in my eyes - I could barely contain myself.

This might be small to others with two of their kids on the same ride - but to me, this moment meant more than anything. To see my two sons sitting side by side - it was the greatest moment. Take a look at the four hundred pictures - okay, the eight pictures - and tell me what YOUR reaction is. Blogger wouldn't let me upload the videos - of all nights!!! - so I'll try again in tomorrow's entry. For now...enjoy these priceless shots:
We went on the helicopters next. I sat behind the boys for this ride - it went up and down and made me a little too nervous to send them alone. But I didn't have to touch Gavin once! They had so much fun!!!


Tonight we are headed back to the boardwalk. I'm sure I'll come home with more to share!



7 comments:

  1. The boys look so big riding those rides together! I remember last summer when Ali and Drew went on the kiddie bumper cars together, and I have to imagine that I felt much the same way that you did last night. Ali driving her little brother around - that was priceless! Your mom should probably make more of those straps to sell ;) Hope you have just as much fun tonight!

    - Elayne Schmidt

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  2. What great memories you are making! I love that in the one photo Gavin is even reaching out to the steering wheel - something that is probably a big event, too! I hadn't thought of the chest strap for rides, but we do have one for Emma and we'll have to give it a go next time we go on rides. She LOVES the rides and it would be nice if she could do one or two without having Mommy or Daddy in tow - good for her self esteem :-) Thanks for the idea.

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  3. AWESOME JOB, KATE!!!!

    Barb

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  4. The memories you are making are priceless. I have tears watching those pictures and knowing Gavin was doing something independently. I love your boys and they are so so precious.

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  5. Michelle from AustraliaJune 17, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    OH I UNDERSTAND!!!! And yes, we parents of special children are Blessed to be able to share the highs of milestones that our kids achieve with the world.

    M x

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  6. Awesome! I'm bursting with joy for you and got a little teary-eyed too. Way to go for saying what you wanted too. You rock.

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  7. I'm new to your blog and I am starting from the beginning. I reached this entry and just had to comment. I'm a mother of 3 beautiful little girls who are "typical". I got to the part where you told the lady with the two children about how those with "typical" children take things for granted. I just wanted to say how true that is. It's so easy to get caught up in terrible twos, work, the duties of a housewife and the everyday stresses of life. In a way I envy you the ability to see your children's childhood for what it is.... nothing short of miraculous. Thank you for sharing your amazing family and inspiration. This has been a profound journey so far and I look forward to what is to come. God bless!

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