Monday, April 7, 2008

Taking the Plunge

Braden loving the penguins
"Petting" the penguins

Looking at the stingrays

There's some big fish in there!!

Logan making friends with the turtle

Logan and Daddy

What's down there??

Normally, as a family, we don't go very many places together. It's not that we don't want to. It is just difficult to deviate from Braden and Logan's schedules. They thrive on their schedules. It is comforting for them to know what is next in their daily routines. When we go somewhere "special" they tend to be upset, so in order to keep them "happy" we just stay home.

I am trying to get out of this "they are just as happy to stay home" frame of mind. I want my children to experience lots of things. I feel that I am being selfish by keeping them cooped up because I don't want to deal with the social aspect of going somewhere. I worry too much about what people think of me and especially my children. The boys meltdown in new surroundings and in places where there is "sensory overload". To the "normal" person, these meltdowns just seem like tantrums. To a parent of an autistic child, they are not. This is my problem. People don't stare much when a 2 year old throws a tantrum, but if a 5 or 3 1/2 year old does, that is a different story. This is my demon. I worry too much about what others think.

Well, I put all of this aside Saturday. We decided we were going to take the boys to the aquarium in Chattanooga. We left Abby with a friend, and set out for the unknown. I decided that I was going to completely ignore everyone else and just focus on my 2 sweet little boys. If someone said something to me about their behavior, I was going to quietly explain that they were autistic and then trudge on. It didn't happen. Don't get me wrong, there were some looks, but I didn't care.

Braden and Logan loved the aquarium. [It's a good thing too. We got the family pass!] We went in the new building first. One of the first things we saw were the penguins. They were so awesome!! This was Bradens favorite exhibit. Unfortunately, he didn't want to proceed on. That was meltdown number 1. Logan was scared to be by the glass for most of the time, but some reassurance from Mommy helped him really like the fish in the end. They both liked the places where you could pet the fish. Neither one of them actually petted one, but they played in the water.

We ended up staying about two hours. That is like an eternity with two auties!! I was very proud of them and how well they handled their new environment. I think that this is just the beginning of a wonderful summer of new experiences for my boys. I am also proud of myself. I am not ashamed of my children and I should not care what others think. It was a wonderful day.


Amanda said...

YEA!!! I'm so glad you ALL had a wonderful time.
I am really proud of you. That was a really big step venturing out like that. Now, go forth and conquer the world with you sweet boys ;).

Kim said...

Way to go Michelle! I bet your boys loved it! We love the aquarium too. I'm with Braden--I love the penguins!

lucy said...

looks like fun!!! it looks like the boys had so much fun!!


Cynthia said...

I Don't remember getting to keep Abby on Saturday


Cynthia said...

Wow, sounds like you guys had a really fun time! I am glad that you got to get out as a family!

oh, and don't mind mom, she is just upset because dad wont let her have another kid. She takes it out by watching everybody elses kids!

Rachel said...

the last comment was me, sorry i forgot to sign in as me! whoops!

Alice Wills Gold said...

I am so proud of you for getting out there and deciding to not worry about other people...those boys are too precious to worry about other people. I am glad that you got to experience the aquarium, I have heard that it is awesome.

Trence Marshall Houston said...

Good for you Michelle! You are an inspiration girl and a wonderful mother.. I can tell.