Well, the writing streak took a hit. I hope you all understand – and I think you will after you read the next couple of posts.
On Day #94 – Whoops I Did It Again I wrote about my intentions to run a half-marathon. For several reasons…
I love education. Of all of my beliefs, this is probably the most strong. I believe in high-quality education for EVERYONE.
I love God and stuff. I have this thing about loving all people and talking, teaching, thinking about grace, compassion, forgiveness, and understanding.
I love to run. Okay, not the beginning – but once I get started again I love exhilaration, the challenge, the zone.
I love Tucker. Tucker has this thing called autism that prevents him from going to concerts. Tucker loves TobyMac.
So, it turns out there was this thing called The Run for Hope (part of The Country Music Marathon). Participants raise money for The New Hope Academy and in return get to meet TobyMac and attend a private concert.
Well, that happened this weekend. It was a phenomenal experience – for so many reasons.
First, if you’ve been reading this blog you know that one of the quirks about people on the spectrum (and let’s be honest…lots of other folks too) is that they thrive in a highly scheduled, highly planned, highly organized environment. This is especially true for Tucker.
One time we decided to go to the movie store and didn’t tell him we were going. He tried to open the door while moving because he didn’t know where we were going. NOT an exaggeration, NOT a lie – and it happened six months ago.
Problem #1 – We really had no idea what this concert/run weekend would look like. We made the choice not to tell Tucker. He doesn’t like to leave home, he doesn’t like to travel outside of Iowa (and sometimes within Iowa), and he certainly doesn’t like to go places that are unfamiliar.
So, we decided to keep the trip a secret. His friends knew, his teachers knew – pretty much everyone around him knew – they also knew how important it was to keep the trip a secret. I know, some of you may be thinking ‘that’s awful’ – but hedged our bets and it worked.
Estelle was in the Middle School play, The Wizard of Oz, on Thursday night. On Wednesday night and Thursday I spent the day secretly packing and preparing. I had to have everything in the vehicle ready to go before I picked him up from school on Thursday.
After her show we all piled in the Suburban. Let me preface this video by sharing that I have been debating whether to share or not. It’s private and makes my heart melt a bit. I asked Tucker and he wanted me to let you all see – he wants you to be part of his story. Now, he likes watching the video and reliving that memory.
My husband thinks it’s good to share because of how the video begins. Me saying, ‘Tucker, I need you to pay attention.” I guess this doesn’t happen in typical conversations? He’s right, it doesn’t – but it’s become such a huge part of our life that I don’t recognize that as being anything BUT typical.
You’re going to hear me tell Tucker that we are going to Nashville and that his friend Austin is already there. His first concern? The dog, Sox (Read Day #122 – Animals Belong Outside, Right?!?!?)
I stopped the video because I could tell he was quite concerned and I had no interest in recording him in a moment of distress. If you are emotionally intelligent at all – you can see the worry begin. Again, Tucker wanted me to share the video – he thinks it’s a great story.
What happened next? An hour of questioning…
How long would it take?
When would we get there?
Was I sure Austin was really there?
What time did he leave?
Did I bring his iPad?
Where are his clothes?
Where are we staying?
When is the concert?
Where are the seats?
Will it be loud?
What kind of spaghetti will be at the supper?
What kind of other food?
What is our hotel number?
What states will we go through?
What kind of snacks do we have?
Is there a pool?
That’s just the tip of the iceberg…I promise. As he began asking questions, I backed up. We told him the story – from the beginning…from that December day when I decided to begin training.
90 minutes later…he fell asleep. Eight hours later, he woke up, in Nashville.