Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.




Monday, July 4, 2011

No man needs a vacation so much as the person who has just had one. ~Elbert Hubbard

Happy 4th of July to all our readers!


Alas, we are adjusting to life back home after a wonderfully relaxing vacation for all of us. This year, there was something special about the time we spent relaxing by the ocean  Something seemed to change in all of us.

Weston found himself again. He discovered that in a new environment like the beach, his boundless energy and keen senses were just the helpful skills he needed to make plenty of new friends, find interesting treasures and learn a thing or two about clamming. Those same traits that got him in so much trouble at school now helped him to navigate and flourish in the seaside environment. The damage to his self esteem finally becoming repaired as Weston learns once again that there is a lot to like about himself.







Nicholas lost much of his baby-like nature and became a young boy. His once fragile state replaced now by a stronger body and a braver spirit. Once intolerant of the cold water, Nicholas found himself splashing merrily in the waves. He took many rides in our rubber raft and delighted in exploring the contents of a new house. He ran and swam and climbed the difficult stairs all day long. He has become liberated from many of his weaknesses. Of course the ocean air and physical activity tuckered him out....and for the first time since he was an infant, he actually took a few naps.



Nicholas climbed these stairs several times a day.


Nick called this his "grill garage"



 



Pete was finally able to learn the meaning of the word relax. Like Weston, Pete rarely sits quietly. He usually needs something to do and all day to do it, to calm his restless inner energy. But at the beach he slowed his pace, read a book and sat quietly on the porch soaking up the sun. We even managed to get him into the water, no easy task I can assure you. My husband was born in the Midwest. And although he can swim, he is not comfortable being on or in the water. On the last day of vacation, me and the boys were able to convince him that the warm water and sandy bottom were perfect conditions for swimming. He finally came in! And of course, discovered all that he had been missing.




Dad in the water!

Dad and Weston sharing an ipod

Dad utilizing Weston's tool to help him sit still


As for me, the salty air, the gentle breezes, the beautiful blues of the open ocean and clear skies, were the perfect antidote I needed to heal my battle wounds and calm my warrior spirit. I feel rested and relaxed, no longer fearful of the next crisis that may be waiting on the horizon. I can finally breathe.

Can you see the chipmunk on the fence?

Weston found these pure white stones on the beach
He thought they should be expensive since they were so pretty