Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Adventure Time

this is more fun than it looks
I was reminiscing the other day about our life pre-autism.  It was 6 years ago in August that I took Ben's brother and our dog on a nine day rafting trip with another family.  It was one of the best trips of my life.  We had a blast.  I remember feeling that he was finally mature enough to have real adventures, and that we had a future of camping and hiking and climbing ahead of us with lots of father/son bonding in the outdoors.  In my vision of the future, I would teach him to rock climb and other awesome things.

Bubba chillin' at the campsite
There was at least one very tense time on that trip.  Bubba was on the other family's raft with his friend (L) and her father (G).  I was on my raft with her mother (M).  They stopped for a potty break and were 10 minutes or so behind us when a heavy squall hit.  Wind was roaring down the canyon and rain blasting sideways.  Thunder and lightning were crashing all around.  It was Old Testament for a while.  M and I grew more nervous as the other raft failed to show up.

Things let up a bit and along they came, everyone warmly dressed and huddled together with the dogs.  G maneuvered his raft with all the serenity of a Massachusetts lobsterman who's seen much worse (which he is).  Then we made hot cocoa.

Ben is now a year older than his brother was then.  I can't fathom the idea of a nine day raft trip with him.  He has a hard time sleeping in ideal conditions.  Camping, or even traveling, is an iffy proposition.  We still do it, but constant vigilance is required because he'll roam in a heartbeat. 

happy trouble
The good news is that he's a pretty happy kid, and he loves to be outside.  Yesterday, he was asking me to set up the slip and slide (it's way too cold already).  A few minutes ago, a big front blew through and scattered leaves across our yard.  He came in gleefully yelling "LEAVES!" to share it with me (sorry, no pics).

I spent some time observing Ben's classroom this morning.  I can't go into it here...there are privacy issues, but I will say that we are very lucky to have a great school with great teachers and he seems to be doing really well there.

Maybe some day we'll go camping and be able to relax.  I'm looking forward to it.  Ben's not quite big enough yet, but we're going to check out this program ASAP.

a not-very-relaxed dog

As a side note, the parents at Ben's school have started talking about fund-raising again.  The Amazon link at the bottom of this blog is still active with an associate account linked to the school.  If you use it to get to Amazon, a portion (5%?) of any purchases during that browser session will go directly to the school as a donation (none for me).  It doesn't increase your price at all, so why not?

Also, if you live in Utah, Smith's grocery donates to schools based on how much people buy with their "Fresh Values" program.   If you don't have kids of your own and would like to help out, you can ask the cashier to link your card to Carmen B. Pingree School.  Easy!  Doesn't cost you a thing!  Hey, while you're at it, ask your friends, co-workers, and extended family to do it too.  It's not just a school, they do research and train people to do therapy.  We need more o' that.


  1. Just thinking about Lily on a boat gives me anxiety.

    1. it definitely keeps your lizard brain roiled up.

  2. Hey Jon. I've been giving this a lot of thought and discussed this very issue with some guides who handle at-risk and challenged kids in outdoor situations. Its clear we will need to have a full-time person along like one of your great babysitters as paid assistants. Their only job will be to watch Ben and help him with situations as they arise. Obviously we would want to start with maybe an overnight or two day river trip, but I am game to try this year. Might not get much sleep but there is whiskey.

    1. i bet we could get somebody to go for that. let's do it when things warm up again.

  3. Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you about a broken link on your site. Please email me back and I would be happy to point them out to you.

    Kevin Collins


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