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!