Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring in Michigan

We can feel it. The promise of green leaves, flowers and sunshine. After a long cold winter and a very snowy February, spring is in the air. We went from very cold temperatures to the 50's everyday. Which, if you live in Michigan, sends people into a spring frenzy. Some people stopped wearing coats when it was 48 degrees! I say SOME because I do not fall into that category. I am the person who is shivering when it is 75 degrees. Nevertheless, the sun is welcomed with open arms.

Last week the warmer temperatures fell in a week that gave us two half days and one full day off of school. On Tuesday, the first half day of the week, I was trying to paint my laundry room in preparation for a delivery of a new washer and dryer (yeah me!) Only to be met with requests to get the bikes down (they are hanging upside down from the ceiling of the garage by the way, not an easy task). This then leads to "my tires need air" and "can you come on a bike ride". My painting stopped needless to say....

Daniel went on at least 5 bike rides last week. He whips around our neighborhood a MILLION miles per hour. Zachary can't keep up! And at one point when Daniel went FLYING over a rogue patch of ice Zachary reports that he was fearful of Daniel wiping out. Of course Daniel went over it without missing a beat and Zach slid and crashed only to have Daniel continue on at full tilt, with Zachary left yelling "WAIT, WAIT, WAIT!". The next time they went out I loaned Zach my Blackberry in case of any accidents. (yes, I know where that is leading....) Daniel was blissfully in heaven. I found myself thanking God for that Bike camp nearly two years ago. It totally changed our lives. Not only does Daniel get more exercise, but I think he feels ALIVE flying around the neighborhood at warp speed.

The feeling of spring continued last night after Daniel's group therapy of speech/social skills when he was feeling particularly anxious. He had worked really hard and kept all of his scripting in his head for an hour. He was upset at how difficult a game was (and the pace of others playing it). He kept it in. Then when we got into the car, he needed to get it OUT. We arrived at home and he had his usual chocolate chip cream on a regular cone (NOT SUGAR that would be unacceptable on so many levels to him) he requested to go on the trampoline for the first time of the year. In the spring it gets flooded in that part of our yard, but for the first time the ground wasn't under water. We gave him the green light.

Todd and I were watching him jump with joy (literally) on the trampoline. Flying through the air. It still calms him right down. (If you have a child with austims and you don't have a giant trampoline, I recommend you go out right now and BUY one). That anxiety was filtered through his legs and into the air instead of at a slamming bedroom door. It was exhilarating, even from the kitchen window. Then he did his next favorite thing after the jumping, he lays down and watches the clouds float overhead. What a relaxing and enjoyable feeling. To exert the frustration then lay down and watch the light clouds overhead. It relaxes me just thinking about it. That is the payoff in Michigan after a long winter. It makes us think of what is to come in the next months. The beautiful Michigan beaches, the Great Lakes, and for Daniel, laying on the trampoline at dusk and waiting for the bats to fly overhead as the sun drops below the horizon. I can hardly wait.


jennykate said...

Michelle, I can just see Daniel flying through the air and then peacefully watching the clouds go by. You write so well! Yeah for Daniel and yeah for Spring!!!

Michelle S. said...

Jen- thanks so much. He is filled with JOY. We all are, but he seems to feel it MORE. I bet you are itching to get to Everlastings.....?

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Nigel is an avid bike-rider and trampoline-jumper as well! Glad to hear that's such a good release for Daniel.