Saturday, March 16, 2013

Special Kids

McCormick Stillman Railroad park host an annual event called Special Day for Special Kids. Having missed the event for world DS day and knowing we'd be out of town for the Easter egg hunt we planned to attend this one. I chatted with an old friend from college, Eliza and her husband Nick who now live in Gilbert. Her oldest has autism and given his circumstances, they rarely go out to activities except this one. It was a great opportunity to meet up, however briefly and catch up on old times.

Ethan has grown up so much! I remember him as a tiny baby crawling around our home. Time passes much too quickly!

The kids enjoyed a hot dog lunch, chips, popcorn, snowcones and ice cream. They played on bounce houses, different games and earned all sorts of prizes. My personal favorite was some leather work done by one of the scout troops. Only Elias managed to keep his. It has his name and an eagle on it.

Keila needed coaxing down the slide and there was a lovely volunteer happy to help. I have to laugh at the terror on her face ...

And now her utter relief!

Isaac literally bounced his way down ....

loving every minute like the crazy boy he is!

Unfortunately Kent had to leave a little early for a resident presentation in Mesa and I was a little harried to stay too much longer but it was so worth it in ways I cannot fully explain.

There were lessons taught that I would never have been able to give my son myself. We'd explained earlier what the even was for and issac was observant enough to see other children in wheelchairs or who were blind or had other challenges. He also asked me about autism, a challenge that is less visually obvious and as we talked he said something that made me so proud. It was something to the effect that everyone is different but were all the same, that the other children wanted to play and have fun too, just like him. He also mentioned how he wanted to "stick up" for these other children because we are Heavenly Fathers children.

I am so grateful that the simple act of interacting and playing at such an event gave my son the vision that is lacking too often in society today. As a mother I worry at times that my children will struggle emotionally and socially, especially Elias, but I know that he'll have more than just Kent and I to advocate for him as he gets older- A mother can't have much more assurance than the knowledge they will love and take care of each other!

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