Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friday Out

We spent most of yesterday at a nearby state park and it was wonderful to get outside.  It was almost a bit too hot at times, but in the shade it was perfect!  We had a picnic lunch with some of our homeschooling friends and then went for a short "hike" in the woods.  I even managed to get Clayton up to one of the observation decks (carrying him up stairs is not fun anymore!).  As it turned out, the view from the deck wasn't that spectacular, but he didn't care.  He just wanted to be with everyone else! 

I couldn't help but get a little frustrated with the logistics of it all though.  Sometimes things just hit me a certain way, and yesterday was one of those days.  When we were searching out a picnic spot, there was absolutely no wheelchair friendly paths to any picnic table in the area we were in.  All the other kids bounded down the stairs and Clayton just had to sit and watch and then we had to go into problem-solving mode.  How in the world were we going to get down the side of this hill without hurting ourselves?!  The steps were too many and too steep to just carry the chair like we normally do when we need to adpat (which is also annoying, but still doable at his age).  We finally found a route we could go through the grass and mud, so we plowed through.  It was great fun for Clayton watching us pull and tug the chair and stroller, but the chair did get really dirty.  And then once we got to the picnic area, Clayton put his hands on his wheels, got the dirt on his hands, and sensory issues kicked in.  Major gagging in front of the whole crowd, with all of the kids asking questions and staring.  They are naturally curious, but I just hate it for Clayton because the best thing for him is just for everyone to ignore it.  He recovered pretty quickly, but he didn't want to have anything to do with lunch or food after that though. 

I will say that even though the logistics were getting on my nerves, one thing that is so great is the way this particular group of kids is coming along with Clayton.  They are getting better and better at including him and learning about his little personality quirks.  It's still a work in progress, but they are always willing to try to include him and help with him. 

It was so nice to get outside for most of the day.  Pretty soon, the Arkansas heat will set in, so we have to enjoy these tolerable days outside while we can! 


Cheri Pryor said...

I can somewhat relate to the frustration of ease with a wheelchair in public places....although not to your extent. There is always extra planning involved when taking my mom anywhere with us but you can NEVER plan for the unknowns. I can't tell you how many soccer games I took my mom to that she ended up in the car watching from afar because I couldn't get her wheelchair anywhere close because of dirt/rocks. Ugh! But I'm glad Clayton had a good time overall...and how sweet of those little ones to embrace his differences and include him!

Patti H said...

Glad that it worked out in the end. Funny you are talking about this topic. John is actually working on a local wheelchair friendly retreat for kids in our area. He just had to order wheelchair picnic table and they even had some playground and sandbox things for kids in wheelchairs to play with. He is making a wheelchair friendly paved path through the whole park etc. It really is something that you don't think about if you don't have someone in a wheelchair. I am so happy to hear that all the kids are including Clayton etc. It must just make your heart happy!!