Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Riding the escalator...

I know, I know. My blog does lean towards my middle child Jack. A lot. But his development, his experiences, they are really a mammoth part of our growth as a family and for me as a human being.
Not to say Liam hasn't opened my eyes to a million things and made me appreciate as much as I possibly can over the last six years of his life. But Jack is showing me a myriad of things in a different light. And of course Evangeline blows me away everyday too, yet I know that with her that is the 'normal experience'. With Jack I am experiencing life on a different level to the majority of society. And I like that. A lot.

Today my friend J, came along to help me take the boys out for the day. It is close to impossible to push the wheelchair and run after a child who doesn't respond to your commands and requests, by yourself. And of course super impossible with all three, so whilst Evangeline was at daycare today, I thought I'd have a 'boys day out'. I was imagining an outing to the botanic gardens... Liam enjoying the view, being wheeled along the paths and Jack running free, touching every leaf, every piece of bark, spinning around on the green expanse.... But no, my friend J complains that it is too hot and that it would be a painful experience (I'm not sure who he meant it would be painful for, but I'm guessing he wasn't feeling like sweltering in the summer heat). His alternate suggestion... the shopping centre....
A lump forms in my throat.
The shops.
I don't take the kids to the shops very often, because as I said before, I can't do it at all by myself. And well my hubby hates the shops. I use to take Liam all the time and he loved it. But Jack doesn't go very often and when he does we usually just pop him in a trolley so he doesn't run off or have a meltdown.
Ok. I thought. F**k it. Let's do this!
J was in charge of Liam.
I had my running shoes on for Jack.
I was mentally preparing for any type of scenario.
And any kind of looks from onlookers.
I popped a little backpack on Jack, to weigh him down, as per advice from his Occupational Therapist.
I held his hand.
And off the little dude toddled. Liam giggled with excitement watching his little brother ahead of him.
Now and again Jack would try to slip his hand away (palms were sweaty.. Summer heat was working to his advantage and so was my slight anxiety), but I just as quickly recaptured his little fingers.
Then we came across the escalator.
Jack had never been on one of these in his life!
He is almost 3.
We stepped closer to it. There was hesitation as he slid his shoes along the floor.
"Do you want to go on the escalator Jack?"
"C'mon", I encouraged and pulled him towards the moving 'stairs'.
The look on his face was a mixture of fear, excitement, bewilderment.
We landed our feet on the next moving step. And whooshed forward and downward.
Jack's face filled with pure elation. It was like he took a hit of a drug.
His eyes like saucers.
Mouth open wide, yet smiling at the same time.
And all of a sudden I felt like it was MY first ever ride on an escalator.
It was awesome!
What a rush!
I imagine it would be like this if you were from the 1920's, hopped in a time machine, zoomed into the future, say 2012 and was shoved onto an escalator.
I would never have had this experience if it wasn't for Jack and his Autism.
When we got to the bottom I scooped him up and looked into his face. I wish I had taken a photo. There was a glow.
I then thought he would love to go 'up' and headed to the neighbouring escalator.
He hesitated again. Stalling at the bottom. We let a group of teenagers go past us.
This time Jack wasn't budging. The teenaged girls whispered to eachother "aww how adorable" and then proceeded to cheer him on "Go on jump on! You can do it". I thought that was real sweet of them, but it didn't help and Jack turned on his heels and started to take off.
I managed to grab him and caught up with my friend J and Liam. This time I popped Jack on Liam's wheelchair. This worked a treat. Liam was grinning from ear to ear. The proud big brother, looking after his little brother. And Jack sat there content to watch the world of the shops whizz past him. I am lucky he is a Sensory Seeker and actually enjoys lights and noise (whereas there are people with Autism who cannot stand over stimulation and this makes shopping pretty much impossible for different reasons).
Of course we didn't over stay our welcome at the shops, because, well you don't want to tempt fate now do you??

So there you have it.

I rode the escalator today.

It was a mindblowing experience.

What blew your mind today?


Fiona said...

Great post! I loved looking at the world from a different perspective :)

Stranger Than Fiction aka Yeran said...

Thanks Fiona :-)