We survived Hurricane Irene with minor damage. We had about 20 hours of rain and wind, but we only lost power for a few hours in the middle of night. A large tree did fall down, missing our van by only a few feet. All in all it was actually a nice day to stay in, cuddle with the kids, and watch some movies.
We woke up today to a clear sky and sunshine. We had to get out of the apartment, so we headed into DC for a picnic lunch and walk around the National Mall. The kids were thrilled to get out and move their legs. We ate in the Sculpture Garden near the fountain. Matt protected us from some very aggressive and hungry squirrels. I gave everyone a laugh when I went to throw away our trash and another aggressive squirrel jumped out of the bin at me. (I screamed like a little girl!)
We took a nice long walk, enjoying the sunshine and the breeze. As we passed the carousel (which is under refurbishment, not damaged by the hurricane), Oliver started to whimper. He pulled away from my grip and ran to the fence surrounding the carousel. He had a huge smile on his face, waiting for Matt & I to let him ride. I tried to explain that it was broken - signing the word to see if he would understand. He just kept walking around the fence, trying to find his way in. Eventually he took my hand and cried as we walked away.
I was so impacted by that moment. Oliver and Waverly ask for nothing. Oliver will make a dash for the playground or carousel, but neither of them have ever been in a store and cried for a toy. Even when they were younger and I took them to the shop to pick out a gift, they would pull something off of the shelf and within a moment put it back. I always wanted them to show some interest in choosing something special, but they never seemed that interested. It was so fascinating to see him react so strongly to a desire. We never pass a carousel without a ride - it is something I decided soon after the kids were diagnosed. We would take advantage of the little things that brought them so much joy. It was so difficult to see Oliver confused, unable to understand why I had changed the rules and withheld a ride on the horses.
As I held his hand and walked past the carousel, I was so emotional. I wished I could have given him a ride - given him a 100 rides. It truly is the little things...