Not too long ago, we decided to start getting regular babysitting, and we picked my father’s step-granddaughter.
She had seemed nice and responsible when we’d met her, but I figured I’d try to get some more info on her. So I called my father.
He talked about her and about her son. He went on and on about how awesome his step-great-grandson is. So smart! So clever! So talented! This little boy was the best little boy in the whole history of little boys!
I stopped my father.
“What do you brag about when you talk about Simon?”
Too long a pause.
“Simon’s very special.”
He didn’t think to brag about Simon’s memory.
He didn’t think to brag about Simon’s smile.
He didn’t think to brag about how everyone who meets Simon loves him and remembers him for years afterward.
He didn’t think to brag about how much Simon likes to read (and how he taught himself to read).
He didn’t think to brag about how good Simon is at horseback riding, bowling, or baseball.
He didn’t think to brag about the how Simon taught himself to float and swim.
Clearly, there’s very little to brag about when it comes to his grandson.
Maybe I should make him a list.
Today was the Special Kids Day at the Galveston Rodeo!
Today was also the day that the weather forecasters were totally wrong (again!), and while they promised that the rain would hold off until the end of the events. Didn’t happen.
We got there by 8:30 because Simon’s teacher told us that the bus would be leaving the school at 8 a.m., and they expected to be there within about half an hour. I could have sworn that, in years past, it was more like 9:30 or 10 before the busses got there, but I gave up my morning coffee just to make sure we were there on time.
The parking lot was empty when we got there.
Lots of volunteers, standing around in purple and blue and other colorful shirts. Lots of cool stuff set up for later in the day.
But nope, not any sign of school children (or adults) with special needs.
Okay. We hung out in the car.
We got out of the car, stood over by the covered arena. Met up with the head of special programs for DISD who told us that she hadn’t even heard from the schools that the kids were on the way.
And it kept getting darker. And darker. And darker.
Then it started to rain, just as the busses showed up.
We had our umbrella with us, and we all got under the covering and into the seats.
Then it was time for waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
A lot of the busses had been delayed by the weather, so what normally started at 10 am instead started at about 11.
But it did start, and everyone did enjoy it.
There was roping, barrel racing, bull riding, all the stuff that had been promised.
There was, however, no carnival. No rides. No games.
The officials there decided to go ahead and bring the lunch into the kids instead of trying to herd a group of kids through the rain to the other covered building.
That was when we decided to go ahead and leave. Simon never lasts much beyond the rodeo – he has a really hard time transitioning back to school after trips – and so we let his teacher and his aides know that we were going to go ahead and take him out.
We headed to Sonic, got him a grilled cheese, and ran some errands.
Simon did have a bit of a rough day after that; I think the change in schedule really messed with him, and the weather was heavy and oppressive and definitely didn’t help any of us.
Nonetheless, a good time was had by all, as I think is clean from the pics included throughout this blog. 🙂
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!