Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two Boys and a Boat

Sean went on a playdate yesterday.

Yep.  You read that right.

A playdate.

Holy freakin’ cow…

It was with a boy whom he had met at Boy Scout camp.  Looking back, it should have never happened but it did.  Funny how the world goes right sometimes, huh?

Sean was working on his Small Boat Sailing merit badge.  His class was the first one of the day…meeting around 8:45.

Sean was also working on his Communications badge, which happened to be his last class of the day.

You would never think that the two would interfere with each other but they did.

And that misstep may have changed Sean’s life…or at least, a few days of it.

Even though Sean was sick, Boy Scout camp proceeded quite normally for the first couple of days.  He went to his classes, did his homework and went about his routine.

Then we learned that in order to complete the Communications badge Sean had to attend a meeting hosted by the camp directors.

That meeting would be held first thing in the morning.


What to do?  What to do?

You would think it’s a relatively easy question to answer but then again, you’re out in the woods…not sleeping well… and everything is NOT normal…or easy!

I decided to speak with the sailing instructor to see about switching to the later class one day so Sean could attend the meeting.

The switch was made for Wednesday.  Sean attended his meeting and then went to the 10:30 sailing class…

Where he met his buddy.

Instant bonding.  Two peas in a pod.  Alike but yet so different.

Sean had made a friend.

I wasn’t planning on keeping the later class time but when the boy said, “Will you be here tomorrow, Sean?” I could hardly have him say “No” when he glanced over to me for the answer.

The schedule, the perfectly controlled environment of “Mama Control Freak” was messed up and I couldn’t care less.

Sean had made a friend.

The following day – Thursday – they spent in boating class and then made plans to meet during open boating hours and take a boat out to sail.

You can imagine the fear coursing through my body with the idea of my son and another little boy out on a boat in the middle of the lake but I let him go.

And off they went…and had a blast.

Friday afternoon Rich and the girls came up to experience camp for themselves.  Again, the boys were back at the beach, readying their boat for another afternoon of sailing.

To see them out there… to know that Sean was doing something so “normal”…hanging out with another boy…

The moment was priceless.

We exchanged emails and phone numbers and this time a friendship did not end with the closing bonfire of summer camp.

The two emailed and phoned.

And then it happened… Sean got invited over to the boy’s house.

Not only was if for a playdate but it was the boy’s birthday.  The family wanted to know if Sean could accompany them for a dinner celebration.


That’s all I could think…


And again, off they went.

With Sean and his autism, so much of his world has to be controlled.  Every moment, every bite of food, every situation played out beforehand so you can anticipate the challenges that your child will face.

It’s astonishingly easy to become a control freak…Captain of nothing else in the world but your own little dinghy.

But then Life throws you a lifejacket … changes course… and the wind decides to blow in a completely different direction.

And you know what?

Aside from being scary and new and unchartered, it turned out just fine.

Imagine that.

1 comment: