Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pure Michigan

We are back from 9 days in northern Michigan. We go every year, sometimes many times a year and I am always a bit surprised at the beauty. It seems to sneak up on me time and time again and take my breath away. One of my friends was making fun of the "Pure Michigan" ads on TV. But I get it. Especially in northern Michigan. It is pure and lovely. I am usually feeling a bit cranky before we head up there. I don't know if it's the packing or the driving or just negativity, but as soon as I sit down on that beach along the Lake Michigan shoreline, I am once again sucked in to it's beauty. I'm relaxing and wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Can you blame me? Look at this vision!!

I'll start our journey on the blog after we spent our first days on Lake Michigan beach. We had made plans to go to our friends lake house about 40 minutes east of us on a lake that I have heard about a lot but never been to. It is a very large inland lake (4th largest in MI) that does in fact make connections all the way out to Lake Huron. Daniel was very unsure of this day trip since we have never ever gone there before. He does not like to leave the area and perseverates about "how far" things are and becomes quite agitated. I, as usual, like to push him to show him that IT'S OK! It won't kill you AND you might even (gasp) have fun!!

We were not starting out very well, since not only were we making him leave the Charlevoix area, but it was also very dark skies, and even raining. These two things have a tendency to rock Daniel's world (more later in the week on this). There is nothing worse to him than a threatening sky. I don't know if it's the thought of plans changing, the barometer changing or a combination of both. What I do know is he's MAD. So we started this adventure with two very big strikes against us.
We arrived at our friends (fantastic!) house in the rain. We came prepared with movies, portable DVD players and lots of snacks. Everyone actually settled in quite nicely despite the rain. They were watching the radar closely looking for breaks in the weather so we could go out in the boat. The plan was to take my kids tubing for the first time ever. My thought was that Daniel would love this as he loves speed, he loves roller coasters, he loves water. It seemed to make sense. My only hesitation was that when we go out in his Grandpa's boat he does not love the spray off the water. Sometimes it's ok and sometimes it isn't. Would being on a tube in the water make the spray ok? Or would it make him really angry? Only a trial run would tell us the answer to that.

Zachary and his friend (a girl from his class) went first. This way Daniel could see how it works. Daniel immediately had to move to a different seat in the boat so he "wouldn't get sprayed". This made me nervous as he was not relaxing into the trip. Zachary was on for quite a while, his friend fell off once (which was probably a good thing for me) We took the opportunity to show Daniel it was ok if you fell off. You just climb back on!

Here are Zachary and his friend having a great time!!!

We decided it was time for our turn. We swapped places and Daniel and I were ready to go. One of the instructions was to "lean back when you start". As you can see in these pictures, he got the "lean back" part, but seemed not to understand that "when you start" was only at the beginning. He was leaning back the whole time. It doesn't take a detective for you to see by the look on his face what he thought of the experience. . .

His face and his entire being was PURE JOY. The whole time. He laughed and laughed. That laughter that is contagious, because it comes from a place of such honesty. It was contagious because I couldn't stop laughing the whole time either. There is nothing more wonderful as a parent as knowing your child is having the best time of their life and you helped them experience it! Pure Michigan. Pure Joy! Thanks for the day to our wonderful friends!!


Anonymous said...

LOVE these pics!! I can 'hear' the giggles and screeches of Zachary and his friend, and the belly laughs of Daniel and Mom! These pics speak a thousand words.

Michelle S. said...

Thanks CW! I thought so too! It was such a great experience!

Pam said...

each time i see these photos i smile and chuckle. the next day, ed and i dicussed how great it was to be able to give the boy's their first tube ride and how much fun they appeared to have. we were particularly touched by daniel's reaction, and just thrilled that he enjoyed it so much! ed told me that he had shared earlier in the day, with the neighbors, just how cool it was to be able to do that for him and how good it felt inside. it was pure joy for us as well!

Nancy D said...

Looks like so much fun! I can see why he's smiling and laughing!! Can't wait to hear about the rest of the week!

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

How great is that?! So happy for you that Daniel enjoyed it so much and that you experienced it with him. Pure joy is right!