While we cleaned a few things from the closet today, I found a box of photo albums and scrapbooks that managed to hide since we moved. Among them was the Disney scrapbook from our trip when Ryan turned two. Since we're planning another trip this time next year with the band, we just had to look. Here are a few of the treasures we found...
|Mommy and Ryan waiting to get into the Monsters, INC show.|
|Waiting for our band in the parade at Magic Kingdom! So very hot, and a special band mom and I poured water in his tray and on is feet as his own personal wading pool.|
So many memories. We only had one child, and things looked so easy and joyful! The band rode buses, but we flew, just Ryan and I. I remember being so overjoyed that I could take my son to do such a wonderful thing!
One of my favorite memories is of Ryan's affinity for the fountains in the Winnie the Pooh part of the magic Kingdom.
Okay, just the one.
What you're seeing is as high as the water rose. I think this one might have been a bit broken, but Ryan was fascinated. He played with it for over and hour.
He was enthralled with that little water spout!
There was this little girl who was so concerned for him. She came over and tried to convince him to come to one of the other spouts that shot about three or four feet.
When she couldn't convince him to move to another fountain, she tried with all her little girl might to make that fountain more fun for him. She held her fingers over the fountain in hopes that the water would shoot higher. Nothing doing! He was happy just the way it was.
The attraction was designed to stop the water a bit, then have it start again suddenly. Of course, that added to the joy! Here he is trying to get the water to hit his sweet baby belly...
Fast forward a week, and we're in Galveston on a family vacation hearing for the first time someone else's concern that he didn't talk. Fixated on things. Wasn't responding to his name.
He just seemed behind.
Two months later, we had our first visit from ECI, ruling out a hearing deficit.
A month into that, and we heard the word autism referring to our boy for the first time.
It's been a long, at times terrifying, at times exhilarating, road. Now we're planning another Disney trip. Still a year away, it's amazing the difference. There is a world of difference in the planning this time. Add two more kids and a few years through the autism wringer, and we barely recognize ourselves.
Now it's not all cute sippy cups, cereal bars, and cheerios. And instead of working the pain into words, I'm going to tell you this: I'm glad we had that innocent time of sippy cups, cereal bars, and cheerios. I'm glad we had that time. I'm thankful for it.
I'm also inexplicably grateful for the little man who, as he addressed his valentines tonight, spouted with the most delicious awkward confidence, "I'm a joy!", then flapped his hands and went back to writing his and his classmates' names.
Indeed you are, sweet one. Indeed you are.
Thanks be to God for every bump, curve, gut-wrenching climb and butterfly-inducing freefall of the road, for you've used them to shape not only our view of each other, but of You.