Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rule #153: There is no age limit for childhood memories

 I found these pictures while looking through my phone and realized that I never blogged about it. Months and months ago we took the boys to a small circus. I had never been to a circus in my life. As a child my family all went to the circus. We were living with my grandparents at the time, and for some reason my five year old self thought that my Grandma would be lonely and feel left out. So I opted to stay home with her, and miss the circus with the rest of my family.

Years later, when I was a teenager, my boyfriend at the time had found out that I had never been to the circus. Ringling Brothers was coming in a few months so he bought tickets for us. Naturally, as fate would have it, we broke up before that time. He promised me that he would still take me to the circus, we were supposed to stay friends after all (and still lived in the same ward mind you)...but he didn't. I was sad I missed my chance again. Why I didn't just buy my OWN ticket I have no idea.

Fast forward to my married life. Alex found out I had never been to the circus before. And while he didn't really think it was a childhood tragedy, he recognized that I thought it was. :) While driving to California we stopped in Las Vegas for the night. He took me to see a Cirque Du Soleil show. And I love him for it. But it still wasn't a REAL circus. There were no animals. Lots of talented people, but no animals.

So in January I found a groupon for a Circus. I decided that even though it wasn't a BIG circus, it could still be my gift to my children. Making sure they experienced this childhood memory. Besides, having it be a smaller scale probably would be more fitting for Evan's enjoyment. Luckily my mom was able to come with us.

If I'm going to be completely honest, it was.....okay. Nothing really that amazing. We did leave before it ended, it took forever to start in the first place. They had stations where you could ride elephants, ponies, or a camel. But then they had to take it all down before the show could start. Unbelievably they set it all up again during intermission! Once we realized it was going to be another 30 minutes minimum before the show started again, and it was already 9:00 we decided to call it a night.

My boys seemed to enjoy themselves. And that's really what the night was about in the first place. They liked seeing the tigers and the little dog that climbed a ladder. Evan enjoyed seeing the acrobats do swings and flips.

I've never understood why the people in charge of a show think that eardrum bursting music = the best time of your life. It doesn't. If they would just turn it down a notch, I think everyone would enjoy themselves MORE. But maybe that's just me.

We brought some headphones for Evan. A nurse that I work with, whose son doesn't have Autism wears headphones to sporting events. I thought it would be a good idea given Evan's sensitivity to sound. It works perfectly. They didn't fit properly and we have since bought some child size headphones for future outings.

Graham got his first taste of Cotton Candy. At first he refused to eat it, because it was my suggestion (sigh) but once he gave it a try he loved it!

This is our attempt at getting a family picture. It's always such a challenge, especially when there are ANIMALS to look at. Graham was in heaven. :)  

 Daddy and his boys! Love the men in my life!

 Doesn't this face just say it all?
 This is a picture that captures Evan's Self-Stimulating behavior. If you've ever been around him, you know that when he gets excited he clasps his hands together, wrings them back and forth, and most assuredly jumps up and down. Before his diagnosis I didn't know this was a "thing" It wasn't the "hand flapping" I had been taught to look for. This was one of the red flags that Dr Goldsmith saw immediately the first time he met Evan. But when I look at this picture, even knowing all of this and what it means, I can just see my little boy who is excited and happy. And that makes me happy.

I'm glad that I can finally say I've been to the circus, and I'm even happier to have shared the experience with my family!