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“Where is our son?”… “He’s over there.”…”Where?”… “Over there waiting his turn.”

Uncategorized Jun 19, 2023

Originally posted May 27th, 2012

My family and I made a trip to my hometown for the Katy Railroad Memorial Day celebration this weekend. We try to take the kids each year because they always have the best time and it’s an easy place to take all 6 kids. There are lots of rides, carnival food, a petting zoo, and tons of railroad-themed events. Best of all is the homemade root beer. The girls look forward to the root beer all year long and I would have the pleasure of listening to the 3-day planning process that included how many refills they were gonna get, when it was most convenient to take breaks from the games or rides and get in line, how to make the drinks last as long as possible after the weekend had passed. 

While this is typically great fun for the whole family, for me it meant either keeping my ASD son home or chasing him all over the park because he could not be still. If you took your eyes or hands off him for a second he’d take off in one direction or another.  It usually took about an hour before his sensory overload peaked to the point of a meltdown.  Then I’d be escorting a screaming struggling child back to the car. Not something I was looking forward to for three days. 

I had some things to finish up with my Mom and was going to be late. Since the kids are older and our boy has been doing so well,  my husband, feeling ambitious and hopeful, decided to take them all himself. 

I was a bit apprehensive but figured “Hey, what the heck, go for it”.

When my mom and I got there, we walked around searching for the family. We saw crowds of people in brightly colored tents, and noise and activity bustled all around us. Children were lined up waiting for face paintings, clowns making balloon animals, and bounce house activities of all kinds.

Finally, we spotted my husband among the other happy parents celebrating the holiday. Standing there… alone? Ok, he let the other kids go off to peruse the goodies of their choice, but what about our ASD kiddo?

Me:  “Hun, where’s our son?” My confusion was surely clear in my voice. 

DH:  “He’s over there.”

ME:   “Where?” I ask frantically scanning the area. 

DH:  “Over there waiting for his turn.”

ME: “What do you mean waiting his turn?  Who is with him?” (panic starting to well in the pit of my stomach)

Finally, my eyes landed on my little mop-headed boy (we hadn’t yet successfully done haircuts) waiting in line with all the other children for his turn for the train ride around the park. Or maybe the “big slide” as the kids called it. I don’t remember what he was waiting in line for because it really didn’t matter. He was waiting, patiently. Standing there hot, sweaty, red-faced from all the previous activities he had already enjoyed, and grinning from ear to ear.

This year we all had fun! 

(Especially this mother’s heart. Thank you metal detox.)


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