Last night I took my son on an adventure. Honestly? It was the first adventure I had been on in awhile.
It wasn’t extravagant.
Actually.. it was the simplest of adventures. But it was amazing.
If I had to list the ONE thing that I thought was the least known about me? It would be how adventurous I am. I love to explore. I love to learn knew things, meet new people, explore new places..
In another time? I would have been a pioneer. Searching out new lands..
But as a parent of a child with special needs? (Ha.. actually? Just being a parent in general…) Parenting is an adventure in itself..
So for awhile? I didn’t have time for adventures.
But this week.. my soul called out for an adventure. I have been wanting to see the sunset on the big lake again.. over Lake Michigan. Something I hadn’t seen for a long time.
And I wanted something I thought my son would enjoy…
So I packed my camera.. and some extra clothes… some food for a picnic.. and we set out for the beach as soon as my crazy schedule allowed.
With a few unexpected delays.. and a 45 min delay in traffic… we arrived.. a little hungry .. and a little stressed..
But with the feel of the sand on my feet..
..and the breeze from the lake on my face..
.. the waves crashing against the shore..
.. I was relaxed within a few minutes..
And surprisingly…so was my boy…
We ate our picnic in silence as we watched the waves .. and he was completely calm.. like a peace had washed over him.
Then? Then, I talked him into taking off his socks and shoes and putting his feet in the water.. He was tentative at first.. worried it would be cold. But then he did something amazing .. he started to dance.
Often with Autism, simple things can seem overwhelming.. the beach can be too hot.. too loud.. too overwhelming…
As a parent of a child with Autism? I struggle with the balance between keeping him successful.. and challenging him to try new things. My adventure side always wants him to try new things.. but my realistic side? Well? I know realistically too many new adventures would stress him out..
But as the sun set last night? I watched a happy .. relaxed … giggling boy dance on the shoreline… jump waves with me.. asking me to take pictures..
If I had been cautious last night? If I had ignored my need for an adventure?
I would have missed seeing that happy, peaceful boy come out to play…
So with tears in my eyes I enjoyed those moments.. and these small hours will remain in my heart for a long time..
.. and I took a few more pictures..