Our current schedule for Mondays is that Patrick comes home early to get Simon off the bus because I have class until 3:50. Then I come home after class, and we normally hang out, hit the store, whatever. Today, I got home, and Simon immediately let me know what tomorrow is: the rodeo!
He loves the rodeo.
It’s the Galveston County Rodeo, and every year, they offer a ‘Special Kids Day.’
It’s free, and it’s awesome fun. They have a short rodeo, complete with barrel riding, bull riding (teenagers trying to win scholarships – it’s very unique to see a high school boy trying to hang on to a bull for 8 seconds…especially for those of us from NJ who never thought of bull riding as a high school sport), and roping. Then the kids get free rides on whatever they open up in the carnival, and they get to play games that they always win and get little prizes. Simon normally gets at least one stuffed animal and hops on the merry go round.
So that’s where we’ll be tomorrow, bright and early.
Simon will hop the bus to school, eat his breakfast, and then hop the bus to the rodeo.
We, meanwhile, will eat our breakfast and then head to the rodeo and meet up with him and the rest of his class. Hopefully the rain will hold off until the afternoon!
Sure, there were some rough moments.
He got upset when he had to bat twice during the first inning of the baseball game. He knows the way the game is played, but since his team was half the size of the other team, the organizers went ahead and had the kids bat twice. Fun for a bunch of them, but for Simon, just a bit too much of a change in the routine. He got over it, though, thanks to some awesome high school helpers and good coaching. He even went up for bat in the second inning. (The games are only two innings long…)
After the game was over, he didn’t want to go home. He want to go “somewhere.” So we decided it was time to go to the zoo before the rain came in.
He had a great time there, too – we saw the sea lions, the elephants, the meerkats, the pirahannas, the bats, all the good stuff. He got to ride on the carousel, one of his favorite things.
And then. Then he decided it was time to go out to dinner. At one p.m.
We delayed him and stalled him, we went over the song from ‘Singing Times’ about what time dinner was – “When you eat at night, that’s dinner” – and talked about when dinner would be. Once we got home and ate lunch, we went over time again, and we wrote up a note about time. Then it was time for distraction mode: we reminded him about his new horse stamp set that he loves, and he settled on the floor with it to stamp up pages and then color them in. Win!
Finally, a trip to Denny’s where he enjoyed his grilled cheese and French fries and stole some of Patrick’s pancakes to top it off.
But the future is a scary place, especially when your worries are compounded by not knowing.
We don’t know what Simon will be capable of.
We don’t know what Simon will need.
We don’t know what Simon will want.
And the news, Dateline in particular, has been running information about aging out.
A fear for any parent with a special needs child in the same situation. What is going to happen, not tomorrow but in five years? Ten years?
We have our plans for retirement, but we don’t know where Simon will fit into those plans. And what happens beyond that, even? What happens after we’re dead?
It’s amazing how easy it is to think of the future, especially when there aren’t any sure answers.