Sunday, July 7, 2013


in·de·pen·dence- the quality or state of being independent

free·dom  the quality or state of being free

Those are two words that hold a huge meaning to our family right now. The week we celebrated a nation's freedom and independence, which to me a is big important celebration. This week though as a family we had our own freedom and independence to celebrate. I honestly am not sure I am going to be able to put into words what these last four days have meant to me. So what I can't put into words I will post in pictures. 

Wednesday even started my nice four day weekend. At the last minute we decided to go with Mrs. Tammie over by the zoo to catch the annual firework show. We grabbed some pizzas and drinks loaded up our trucks and headed out to have fun. The show started and H was full of anxiety. We tried to keep him outside but he was so unhappy. So he sat in the truck, in his car seat, facing the opposite way. It was a spectacular show regardless. 

Thursday we prepared for our evening at some friends house. They usually hold big parties on the holidays so we knew what to expect. They are very aware of H and his needs so they are always very accommodating. We packed up our goodies to head over. The kids swam, ran around and had a great time. As soon as it was dark it was another round of big booms and bright colors. This time H stayed out in his chair for about 5 or 10 minutes before it just became chaos for him. Thankfully Tara was around and got a DVD set up for him in the house so he could watch Cars and we could continue in our festivities. 


Friday!!!! Happy 11th birthday Hannah! Today was probably the most fun out of our whole vacation. Hannah had her friend Meghan over for some girl fun. They painted their nails and spent time just having fun doing what preteen girls do best. We did a bit of swimming, baked a cookie cake and I pampered the girls a bit. Once Meghan left we headed out to the stables briefly to help out and then decided to head out to Clyde Lake Park to their festival. The band we like Belle Plaine Revival was playing that evening and they had fireworks so we loaded up the kiddos and headed out. It was nice to get away for a bit and let the kids have a play to run around. It wasn't that packed and it was just the right amount of things to do. We walked by the lake, ate some great food, listened to music and watched the fireworks. Tonight H sat back in his stroller and enjoyed them while he kept his headphones on. Hey progress is progress. 

 Yesterday it hit me. Yes we won't go on some big family vacation anytime soon but this was a vacation for us. This was our getaway. This was our freedom that we had been wanting for sometime now. H was doing so much better than we expected and we really capitalized on that. We had gained this sense of independence from what our normal was. We had done so many things the last few days we hadn't done ever or in a long time. It was so wonderful to go out as a family and just let loose and have fun. We didn't worry about Autism or the things that went with it. We refused to let it hold us back this week. We were not reckless but we just decided to let go a bit and know that we can't let Autism control this family. We were out by water, open fields and crowds all things that can set off meltdowns, eloping and craziness. H was calm for the most part and took it the change of scenery with ease. He actually enjoyed sitting in his stroller. He were calm and relaxed and that made him calm and relaxed.
We let the kids go in the lake yesterday and H really didn't want to get in it. Sort of a relief actually. We spent the entire evening walking around walking out on sandbars, playing, snacking and skipping rocks. I taught the girls how to skip rocks last night. H even wanted to do it. I sat by the lake with my kids without a care in the world and threw rocks in the water and it was like I had taken my kids to Disney World. They were excited and laughing, running around and having a blast. There was no fighting just fun pure relaxing fun. It made my heart smile. I really didn't want to see the evening end. I didn't want this weekend to end. Its been ages since we really did things like this as a family.
We sat around and ate our dinner that we packed. We had a nice little picnic. We made s'mores well non cooked s'mores. The kids enjoyed the treat. The fireworks started and H calmly sat there and watched his ipad. No crying or getting anxious he rolled with it. With about 7/10 minutes left in the display Chris calmly got my attention in turn got the girls attention. We looked over and low and behold his headphones were off. His hands slightly covering his ears but he watched intently. I jumped up grabbed my phone and started snapping pictures. This was HUGE!!! No one drew attention to it and as the finale came we held our breath. He covered his ears with his hands but as soon as it was done we cheered! Not for the fireworks but for H! He did it! He overcame a fear an anxiety that really set him over the edge. H was cheering but I think it was because everyone else was cheering. It was at that moment I realized we don't need therapy to make these huge transformations or money we don't have we just need our own measures and persistence to get it done. We created major transformations in our child this weekend at little to no cost to us and we enjoyed it as a family.
This was our independence day our day to celebrate our freedom from Autism and all that comes with it. This was our big hoora that we will continue to celebrate for years to come. Independence Day takes on a whole new meaning for this family!