When I was pregnant with Dominic, I joined my due date club at Mothering.com, and followed several of those ladies over to the less politically correct group, MamaDrama. We posted there for a long time, those ladies got me through Dominic's regression and our new reality. And not a one of them lived near me.
When Facebook came along and killed off the message boards, we moved ourselves to facebook and continue to share our daily lives with each other. Many of us have special needs kids in a variety of flavors. We support each other through life - we've done virtual birthday parties, baby showers, and funerals. We've evolved far past an online group of random women - we are a community.
So when my friend Jenn told me she wanted to bring her 17 year old son Ben (spectrum, epilepsy, violence, aggression) to visit for a weekend, I had zero hesitation and cleared my schedule. They spent this last weekend - a CLASSIC Colorado spring weather weekend - in town and we had a lovely time.
I want to point out a couple of things first...
- that all those folks who say that individuals with Autism don't want friends - is in both of our cases, very wrong.
- at different parts of the weekend, both Jenn and I noted how nice it was to be spending time with people who "got" our kids quirks and weren't phased.
We started the weekend on Friday, meeting Ben and Jenn at their hotel for swimming....
|Obligatory Mom Selfie|
|The Boys hit it off really well and were frolicking pretty quickly after meeting each other. Ben is much more Verbal than Dominic, so that helped.|
These folks are from Atlanta, so they were... nonplussed that Saturday we had enough snow to go sledding. So we went sledding... (refer back to my statement about Classic Colorado spring weather)
Then, after a purposeful break time to allow both boys some breathing space, we went back to the hotel and swam again before dinner, which is when I learned exactly how much Shepherds pie 2 teenage boys can inhale. (Hint: ALOT)
Sunday dawned beautifully - as only Colorado can in the spring. Sunny skies, and warm air.... So we did one more swim in the morning and went to Garden of the Gods after lunch. By this swim, Dominic and Ben were BEST FRIENDS.
I always start showing out of towners Garden of the Gods from the scenic overlook, because of how amazing the view is,. and how big the rocks are up close comparatively.
|A Random stranger took this picture. I'm rather pleased with it...|
|First MIGHTY EAGLE post of the day...|
The remainder of these we snapped as we followed the boys through the park... I'm super pleased at how well behaved Dominic was, how interactive and accepting of a peer, and how much fun we had.
And there we have a double mighty eagle!
There were a couple of conflicts between them over the weekend, so it wasn't perfect. BUT - none of those conflicts required more than the moms negotiating a compromise. It felt... oddly normal. We don't get that very often.
In the end, the verdict is that the weekend was a raging success and we have a standing invitation to visit them in Atlanta. And they've lost their status of "Imaginary friends"