Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I seem to have an issue with vacation. I come back recharged and refocused but then never post about out trips. It's funny because when the cool things are happening I think "I have to post about this" but by the time I get back into the grove, life takes over and the time to post slips away.
(On a side note-can you believe this! I swear, the boy was 90% more stable being chased by waves than I have ever seen. Fantastic!)

Any way-I'm hoping to get bits and pieces out 'cause there were some great bits and pieces on this last one. I have to get moving before we go away again. So...

We were spending our last few hours on the beach. Our bags were in the car, we were checked out of the hotel and we were grasping at our last minutes of freedom before getting back into the car for the 11 hour (turned out to be 13 hour +) trip to Alabama. Ben was walking, yes walking (OK tipping, stumbling and staggering but still upright!) through the sand toward big mounds of sand that had been pushed up around the board walk. From just down the beach I heard a mom say to her two boys "There's a boy who might want to play. Why don't you see if he wants to play on the hill. He might want to penguin slide with you." Sure enough there went her boys, running up to see if Ben wanted to play on the hill with them. When Ben didn't answer very quickly, they waited.

There are so many amazing, and sadly, extrordinary things wrapped up in those two actions. First, she saw him walking. It is very obvious that Ben walks differently and she not only didn't shy away she actually moved herself into Ben's world. Then she encouraged her children to move in too. And she came up with something that ALL of them could do together. To top it off, the boys waited. They waited and wouldn't you know it, Ben answered. The boy who has so much trouble engaging, was given a chance to speak, and did.

I can't tell you how amazing this experience was for all of us. Well maybe it was just fun for Kiera but it was amazing for Ben, Dave and me. At one point the older of the two boy's came to ask why Ben didn't talk as fast as he did. So I told him, he said "OK" and went back to play. The absolute best part of the day, and to be honest one of the best moments I have ever had, was when the same little guy (we'll call him Big M) called to Ben, "Come on Ben, lets go over here." Ben said "I'm coming!" Big M said "Come on Ben, hurry. (little pause) Can't you run Ben?" to which my little hero answered "I can run Big M, see!" and proceeded to run across the sand to play with a friend.

Our four kids played for about two hours before it was time to go. And about half an hour before we left we learned that they have a cottage 40 minutes from where we live. No kidding. So guess what we did today... we played with two new little friends we met in Virginia Beach, in Michigan.


C said...

That is just so cool. Sighing with happiness at the serendipity of it...

Go, Ben.

Melissa said...

That is so cool! What a great story. Here's to new friends!!!