Saturday, August 8, 2009

No Fear

My best intentions where thwarted in terms of blogging on vacation. I wrote one. As I suspected trying to look back on the whole vacation, my mind is boggled up with so much information I can't keep it all straight. As a friend of mine told me after looking at my pictures on facebook, "it looks like you were on three vacations". She's right. We packed in a LOT of things in this vacation and were moving all the time. My children were so thankful to get home "and do nothing". I can't decide if that is bad or good? I do know that I was ready to sit down in my own house and do nothing, except that I have piles of laundry and suitcases spread out taunting me as I sit. Vacation part 1 is Niagara Falls. . .

As I mentioned the drive went well, as soon as Daniel discovered he could use his Ipod and not get car sick. He'd periodically yell from the back seat, "I'm not car sick!" "I'm so happy I'm listening to music." It all makes so much sense. I love when we figure something like that out, but it makes me want to slap my forehead and say DUH, why didn't I think of that before? Better late than never will be my mantra.
We were so lucky weather wise on this trip. It's like "someone" said "the Sneathen's are here, clear the skies". That "someone" knew Daniel wouldn't be able to take a thunderstorm on top of everything else. The day we arrived in Niagara Falls was gorgeous. I mean GORGEOUS! The day before it was pouring rain and gloomy. People said it was one of the best days all summer and it was there just for us! Egocentric? Possibly. I just felt BLESSED that it happened. We arrived, dropped our things and headed out to explore for the next 4 hours. Here is Daniel in front of Horseshoe falls complete with a glorious rainbow that stays and stays. Daniel's two favorite things, together for continuous viewing pleasure. It's a beautiful place. If you've never been you should go!

During our exploration, we went on the Maid of the Mist. (which you can see over my shoulder in the above picture) Daniel was getting annoyed with the long walk to the dock. It was pretty far, and it was pretty warm out, so we were all feeling it. Luck was once again on our side. We got to the long line for tickets and they opened a new line. We jumped into that line and avoided the complaining and waiting that would have followed.

Our theory is "no fear". We could have worried about how Daniel would handle all of this, but we just forged ahead and told him it would be fine. It seems to work. He was unsure, but we keep reassuring him. We were leaving the next morning so we only had so much time. Daniel had said he wanted to ride on the Maid of the Mist when he saw the video on the internet. Todd and I knew that it would be stressful for him, because as much as he likes the water, he likes to be submerged in the water. He is not a fan of a light mist floating over him, especially with clothes on. He is very very concerned about peoples clothes getting wet. It is very upsetting. We keep trying to reassure him that everything will dry, it's no big deal, but to him it is. So part of me was nervous about his reaction. I was just moving forward with my new found no fear attitude.

We donned our "complimentary souvenir rain ponchos" and waited for our boat.We chose not to run to the top front where you get soaked for obvious reasons. Daniel was quite stressed but probably only we would have noticed. Everyone is too excited about the ride and not paying attention to the kid worrying about his shirt getting wet. He wasn't making a scene, but if you know his facial expressions you could see the worry. It is an amazing view! The power of the falls is remarkable. The boat gets right up to the bottom of Horseshoe falls and stops for a while. It felt like we were inside that permanent rainbow. You could see the colors around you. I could also feel when Daniel relaxed. The air changes around me and he actually started to enjoy what he was seeing. Todd and Zachary ran up to the top, which sort of stressed him again, but I stayed with him and reassured him, that we don't have to worry about them.

It is so powerful for him to see for himself that what we are telling him is true. I think we know what his limits are and are very respectful of that. He needs a push. I know what he'll like. In these times, he learns so much about acceptance. It empowers him to move forward, to take a chance to see new things and not be stuck in his world. It can be uncomfortable at times, but it is so worth it. He is so proud of himself when he does something that is hard for him. Aren't we all? Aren't those the things that help us all grow? The things that leave us feeling better about ourselves. When you are armed with that, anything is possible. Granted, the things I'm talking about are pretty small compared to most families. I understand that our standards are different. We try to work around them. As with any of us, we are doing our best. If you don't have a child like ours in your family you probably won't understand, but there is a fear that comes with it. We are always fighting it. This whole vacation was about trying new things. I knew he was ready or I wouldn't have attempted it. No Fear.


Anonymous said...

Another huge success for Daniel, lessons learned and wonderful memories for all. Perhaps in the future when Daniel is forced to face a fear or discomfort, he will remember the time he spent with his mama in a permanent rainbow at the bottom of the falls.

Great pics!

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Excellent! So glad the trip went well and that Daniel forged ahead in spite of his stress about the mist. (Nigel is the same way - loves to be submerged in water but can't stand to be sprayed.) What a great success story!