Sunday, July 20, 2014

Walking for Awareness

I love to sleep. Especially during summer vacation. Usually I get to do so, but here it is just before 5:30 a.m. and I'm now wide awake. So much for thinking we had the "teenage thing" under control. Jordan and I have been going round and round about certain games being played on the computer, I finally banned some from our home computer (we believe Grandma's computer got a virus from at least one of the games). Apparently when I told my 13 year old "You are not to play *insert game name here*" that translated to "You may only play *insert game name here* during the middle of the night, when you believe everyone else is sleeping. You also need to log off *game* and pretend to be sleeping on the couch if anyone comes downstairs". He may have gotten away with it, but unfortunately for him (and myself) I had a lot of water to drink just before bed. I often wonder what actually goes through a teenagers mind. He even tip-toed back down 15 minutes later to see if I was still awake. Oh, the joys of teenagers.

Well, I'm up now, may as well start updating how out Summer Bucket List has been progressing.The first activity this year almost didn't make it on our list. For the past 4 years the boys and myself have joined my parents in walking for Autism Awareness, and my nephew Matthew (who use to live with us) was added to our group in 2011. At first I thought it was a given that we would be participating again this year; but after seeing how my boys and Matthew interact since his time living in our home, my mom gave us the option to opt out. After the initial shock of why wouldn't we want to walk, I saw her point of view. There was a high probability that tensions would rise between the four boys resulting in a likely decrease of fun during our Fun Walk/Run. There were other ways we could help bring awareness for the wonderful research being done and to show support to our friends who are on the Spectrum. During Matthew's time living with us we were able to finally get him diagnosed on the Spectrum, so it seemed important that he be part of the walk and the boys and I graciously bowed out. The day before the forms needed to be turned in, Grandma called and suggested that we join them regardless of ill feeling between the boys. She pointed out that being part of the walk has become a tradition for us, so we decided again to walk.

We met up with the grandparents, my niece (Matthew's half-sister), and Matthew at the walk shortly before the 1 mile fun walk began. The worries about how the boys would interact was a non-issue, Jordan and my niece buddy up as the two oldest, Joey hung with Papa, Jacob bounced between hanging with Mom and hanging with Papa, Matthew stuck with Grandma or tagged along with my niece. We peacefully completed the our mile as a family. Raven, Jordan, and I made plans to
compete together in the run portion if we are invited again next year.

Every year my boys seem to work up an appetite during that one mile and look forward to the bagels provide afterwards.This is usually when we take our group picture, but this year we were distracted by the sound of music. Surprisingly there wasn't anyone dancing and the lady over there was so peppy and friendly. There was no way of getting the two teenagers over there to dance like fools and embarrass themselves in public, but Joey and Jacob were all for showing off their moves. I joined in for a couple of the line dances, and maybe a couple other songs too. Matthew and Grandma got their groove on for a song or two also. What about Papa you ask, he was taking pictures of us.

Our wonderful dancing slowly drew in a crowd and we quietly slid our way over to the playground, where the older two were pretending they didn't know us or our crazy dance moves. After about and hour and a half of climbing around like monkeys the kids found the bounce houses empty and headed over that way. All the walking, dancing, climbing and jumping really works up an appetite, so it was time to head to lunch then to Grandma's, but not before we finally took our group picture.