Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The World According To Jax

 Day 2 – I was about to write “Tuesday” but I think that was merely wishful thinking.

I’m stuck in my tent awaiting storms.  There will be no Wi-Fi connection from the ranger’s station tonight.  The last thing I need on this trip is to be caught in a downpour hundreds of yards of winding gravel paths away from camp with my laptop.  The sight of me running through the woods in the dark of night while trying to protect my computer would certainly merit a picture on the camp’s wall of shame.

Thus, I’ll post this on the internet tomorrow morning…. Hopefully!

Today was the start of programming for the boys who want to earn merit badges while they are here.  Sean has three on his must-do wish list:  Environmental Science, Lifesaving and Shotgun Shooting.

He’s in “class” until 3:30 pm each day.

It’s not difficult work, per se, although swimming 400 yards is a feat I would never imagine undertaking, but any task done in 95% humidity presents its own unique challenges.

Sean’s attitude has been pretty good most of the day.  I’ve worked hard to keep him hydrated and happy.  There’s really no reason to push hard in this weather and taking a few minutes out for a slushee at the trading post is worth much more than its monetary value.

I’ve been consciously keeping my distance although today he’s asked me to be around him more so I can rub him during the minutest of lulls in the action.  No place is immune.  OK, maybe the bathroom is.  But sitting at the bonfire?  A given.  Waiting for his turn to shoot at the range?  Definitely. 

I rub his back.  I massage his shoulders.  I scratch wherever needed.  I have become an all-in-one rub-o-matic.  And I come much cheaper than $19.99.

I don’t mind really, although it would be nice to have Sean sit down next to me simply because he wants to be by me.

Now onto our day….

Sean conquered the 400-yard swim in style – talking all the way – and dove to the bottom to retrieve/rescue a brick like a pro.  For shotgun, he was in the wrong slot for a left-hander and wound up only shooting one clay pigeon out of the air during class.  We went back to the range during open hours and he smashed 9 out of 10 from a different slot.  It was quite amusing to hear him comment after each hit.   I believe it was a combination of confidence and cockiness spewing forth from his lips.  Even the boys waiting their turn to shoot had to chuckle.

Sean is really doing great – achieving beyond my expectations.

There is a saying out there…  The only limits are the ones we place upon ourselves. 
I’ve tried to not ever let limits get in the way of Sean’s growth and potential.  My own concerns as a mom have certainly hindered.  But that’s more a “mom-thing” than anything else.  Who amongst us has not set limits on what are children can do?

I’m talking more about whatever limits – if they exist – from Sean having autism.  With a little extra explaining, with a little extra patience, I’m sure he can do just about anything.  Years ago did I feel that way?  No.  Sitting on the beach today watching every stroke of his for 400 yards, did I feel that way?  No.

But the aquatics director gave us a great bit of advice over dinner last night.  He said that if you can swim 10 yards, then you can swim 100.  If you can swim 100 yards then you can swim a mile.  It’s all in your head and you have to just conquer whatever it is that is telling you that you can’t.

Jax was right.

Sean really can do anything. 

You kept my boy safe, Jax.  Thank you for doing more than your job required when it came to guiding a boy and his mom through the rough waters.

Thank you for a job well done.

Now it’s time to do my job, take my place on the beach, and cheer him on….

Go Sean.


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