Friday, July 25, 2008
Ben just finished the last day of his very first camp. To say it was a success would be a gross understatement. It was an enrichment camp which means that it was developed and run by a recreational therapist from a local hospital. The camp staff was made up of a physical therapist, an occupational therapist and a speech therapist with a whole mess of college age volunteers that are all majoring in some sort of pediatric therapy. To top it off, the camp is for kids of varying ability who where not receiving therapy over the summer. In short a whole bunch of kids just like Ben. When we walked into camp the first day Ben immediately saw adults that he recognised from his former therapy department and he was greeted with huge hugs, smiling faces and a really cool project to get started on. I was dragging my feet, not sure about letting my baby go, he just gave me a "See you later mom." and would have booted my out the door if he wasn't so busy. As I was walking out I saw two other little guys walking in and they walked just like Ben! I never see kids that walk like Ben. It seems that I was not the only one surprised because the next day I spoke to two other mama's who said that they called their spouses to tell them that there were kids who walked just like theirs. One of the kids lives about 1/2 hour away (not bad) but the other lives right down the street form me! How do we miss each other in this shrinking world? Our boys are even riding in the same bike program, just at different times. Seriously, how have we not met? Anyway, Ben came home the first day just bubbling over. So many activities to share, so many songs to sing. They even had a music guys there and he had a little guitar for every child to play. It was like a dream come true for Ben. The boy spent one day, one day with kids just like him and came out of his shell more than I have seen, well, ever in 24 hours. No pressure, no explanations needed, just freedom to play and learn and grow. He didn't even mention any therapy because he didn't notice it. I'm telling you, it was amazing. How do you describe the sight of weight lifting from a burdened child's shoulders? He was free. I wish this sort of experience for every child with challenges. A freedom from their differences. Heck I wish it for all of us, everyone. I only wish it could be every day, forever.