In my need for creating memorable traditions, every year since my son was diagnosed, we raise money and go on (what my son calls) the “BIG” walk. It is a day of celebrating and support of our children who are on the spectrum for autism. There are many organizations for autism that have walk events throughout the year. For us, we participate in the Autism Speaks, Walk for Autism held at the Manhattanville college campus at the beginning of June.
The day is even more important because it usually is scheduled during the same week as my son’s birthday. This year was no different. We all woke up bright and early and began with joyful, excited, and repetitive announcements from my son: “Today’s the BIG walk, Mom?”, “When are we going to the BIG walk, Mom?”, “We will bring the wagon, Mom?” We all wear, the coveted, red t-shirts to show our comradery. Red also happens to be my son’s favorite color. The weather was perfect as we wait for our family of team members to arrive at our house.
After packing up the cars, all the members of team RYEBREAD (a nickname we gave to our son at birth…he was as tiny as a Ryebread) loaded in. Upon arrival, my son took controls of the wagon handle and began pulling it up the hill to where all the walkers were congregating. It is quite an event. There was face painting for kids, tattos, bouncers, refreshment stands and an information tent where families can seek out resources. That tent in itself is probably lifesaving to many.
The horn blew and we were off walking in appreciation of all our family, friends, and acquaintences that so generously gave to our fund. It always is a bit emotional for me. I see such sparkle in my son’s eyes and hope that everyone can see what I see. This is a child so eager to please, so gentle in mannerism, so impressionable yet makes the most impression on us all, fun loving with a sense of humor, truly a harmonious person… Do or can others see what I see?
Last thought – As we walked, we thought to bring my son’s new bubble blower. It was one of the best things we did that day. Bubbles make children laugh and parents happy for the distraction. Has a bubble ever popped on your cheek? It can bring out the silliness in anyone.
It was a fun morning and another year with tradition…or some could say routine:)
What family traditions do you have?