As I write this I'm sitting by the pool, it's 6:20pm and about 95 degrees, at least 90 in the shade. The kids are enjoying the only coolness afforded outdoors and playing in the pool with Dad, who arrived on Saturday. We were so glad to have him, not least for another pair of hands to chase, hold, catch, feed, clothe and play with the boys! I have to admit having grossly overestimated both the time and the desire I would have to sit and blog when there is so much playing to do, but we'll try to catch up here in a quiet moment.
This is our last day of the Florida leg of our holiday. Tomorrow we leave in the red Ford Explorer, aptly named since we will be exploring the southeast corner of the US on our way to Texas for Brian's family reunion. The boys are excited and so are we to have our first family US roadtrip. I wonder what we will find to explore with them? It's funny, trying to explain what a motel is to a four year old!
The week past has been given to many different exploits, most prominent being the Seal World Aquatica water park, the Daytona Nascar speedway experience, and of course, The Magic Kingdom. All three were memorable for different reasons, and not least because Adam just could not deal with any of it. I have been surprised, in fact, by how little he enjoyed any of what we have done here in terms of large, corporate entertainment. I didn't know what to expect, of course, but I thought surely we would be able to find something somewhere in this haven of dreams coming true that would appeal to my little autistic boy of almost seven. But really, the only things he enjoyed were swimming around the lazy river at the waterpark--something all of us enjoyed, in fact--watching the Imax movie at the Nascar, and sitting on the bench in the shade with Dad at Disney.
Not that the heat has helped--the poor boy has been sweating non-stop like the rest of us. But I try to see it from his point of view, he whose hearing and vision and brain workings are a complete mystery to most doctors and even to his parents. Adam couldn't care less who Mickey Mouse is, or why we should wait for 30 minutes to sit in some little plastic car and spin around fighting "the evil emporer Zurg", or who these funny people are in big costumes dressed like a duck. Adam likes to play and be inventive and be active, and I think a lot of his trouble comes from walking to stand in line, or sitting and waiting for a show to start, and engaging with a world that is not real. He deals in reality, and certainly in the present, so almost nothing in this imaginary, happy, dreamy world matters to him. The happiest moment for him was when, at 6pm, we said OK Adam, time to go home. He immediately made the signs for "home" and "eat" and started walking toward the exit! Sorry, Mickey--you just could not beat the pool for this little boy. Try again Walt, and when you've designed a theme park for kids like Adam who need reality and whose dreams don't depend on being cooped up in lines and close, dark, noisy quarters, we'll be there.
On a brighter note, Adam has been full of music and facial expressions the last couple of days, showing that he is not traumatised by this environment. He is resilient, as usual, and full of life. I think we all have enjoyed this phase of adventure, though I can't say we're not ready to move on to the next one.
See you in Texas!