Saturday, May 22, 2010

Night of Stars

On May 7th we went to Silverwood Theme Park (think Six Flags, but smaller) for the Night of Stars, a night the park is open only to individuals with special needs and their families. The person with special needs and one caregiver/guardian get in free and the rest of the family gets in for $12, far better than the usual $40 + a ticket. We had never been and knew Hunter would be SOOOO excited, so we didn't tell him ahead of time, picked him up a few minutes before school got out and headed over to Idaho.

We had a good time, it was kind of chilly (though much better weather than previous years as everyone was quick to point out,) and there were far more people there than I would have ever imagined. It was interesting. I was again reminded of how fortunate I am to have a child with Down syndrome, there are so many more......involved? disabilities, it just kind of puts things into perspective. I did have a few moments that kind of made me pause, at one point we were walking from one ride to another and Ella was walking beside me holding my hand, she was so excited to be going to find "more ride," we passed a group of maybe 5 adults with Down syndrome walking slowly, holding hands with caregivers. I'm guessing they were from a group type home. Anyhow, the group was walking really slow, they all seemed to be very disengaged from what was going on around them. The caregivers were saying hi to Ella and commenting on how cute she, while the adults with Ds just kind of shuffled along. I looked at my little 3 year old, practically running, smiling from ear to ear with pure excitement and thought "is that what she will be like?" We caught up to my mom and I asked her "so, if Ella is already walking faster then them and more aware that means she won't be like that right?" And let me just say that I HATE that I think that way. I always wonder what adults with Ds were like as children. I think Ella has been given so much opportunity that she can't help but to do great things, right? Ella has such a huge drive to do EVERYthing, I really shouldn't worry about her, but I can't help but get scared every once in awhile.

We had a great time, we really did. Ella LOVED going on rides. The kids favorite ride was this little roller coaster called the Little Toot Train (which we quite a few laughs about the name after : ) Ella had a hard time transitioning from the rides, she wanted to stay on and ride again, and she wasn't terribly patient in line, but after all she is 3. Hunter had a fabulous time, and frankly to me, it was more for him, he deserves the perks of having a sibling with special needs, he sure puts up with a lot!!!!

Here are the pics I took! I love this boy. His smile melts my heart.

Ronald McDonald really really liked Ella, it was cute
Ella is wearing Hunter's old shirt, she loves it, she goes around saying "Bubba's shirt"

Something scared her so she clung to bubba
See the nuts in the back???
I know this pic is dark, but it's so sweet!
My favorite pic!


Cammie Heflin said...

Looks like so much fun!

Jennie said...

I understand why that last pic is your favorite. It's incredible!!! You have some cute kids, Kacey.

I've had similar thoughts when I see adults with DS. It often makes me sad. I have to believe that the opportunities our kids have that they wouldn't have had 30 years ago makes a big difference. I guess we'll find out eventually, huh?

Monica Crumley said...

Oh my goodness... those are some of the cutest photos ever! LOVE her long pigtails. I know the feeling of seeing adults w/ Ds compared to our kids who are more like typical kids than anything else. I often wonder, too, about their childhood, but it's another reminder that no two people w/ Ds are alike and there's a wide range of abilities among those individuals. I'd say we're pretty fortunate!

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

I love the pics from the amusement park night! looks like so much fun! I would have had the exact same thoughts, Kacey, when seeing the adults and their caregivers... I ran into three adults w/ Ds at a blood draw for Whitney about 6 months ago and couldn't help but feel sad if Whitney would one day seem to be more "out of it" than she is now... right now I feel like she is just so "with it" I can't imagine things changing...
anyway - glad you guys had a fun night!!!!! :)

Alaina and Kyle said...

Oh it looks like she had so much fun! I can't wait until Beau is old enough so we can join.

Anonymous said...

Not too long ago parents with children with DS were encouraged to send them to institutions when they were young even babies. I know several adults with DS whose families chose to bring them home and give them the best environment and every opportunity that their other children had. Those adults are lively, engaging, generous beautiful people to be around. Just like Ella will be when she grows up!!!

Love Deena

Lori said...

Looks like a lot of fun! And, I agree - Hunter deserves a few perks - he is such a great big brother to Ella!

And, our DI therapist totally agrees with you. After working with children w/ all types of disabilities, she said that she would choose Ds over any of them.

And, like you, I often wonder what Anna will be like as an adult. I do think, however, that a lot depends on our attitude and our efforts to keep them engaged and in "normal" activity and encourage them to strive for more.

kecia said...

what a fun thing to get to do! Ella is looking too old! So cute!

Kelli said...

These pictures put a big smile on my face! You looked you all had a great time! :)

Aunt Tami said... cute!!!! Cant wait to see you all....very soon!!! We are going to have a blast!!!! Love ya's!!!!

Tiffany said...

How fun!! And I totally "get" what you mean about the adults with Ds...I do that too. I think it's totally normal...and then you have to take a deep breath and focus on right now! ;)

Katye said...

i just can't get over how beautiful both your children are! Two amazing little blessings =)