Holiday Reruns – Lessons from Santa

train s

December, is the time for reruns. I love reruns, especially holiday reruns. The following is a post from December 2014 about the important lesson DC and BB learned while riding the Santa Train.

******

Lessons learned on the “Santa Train” – 2014

train

(Code word of the day: “Supplement”)

As parents, we all come to the ‘Questioning the Existence of Santa’ crossroad sooner or later. It is a sad milestone. It begins to be difficult for them to understand and believe in something that they can not see. Sure we see Santa and his helpers quite often during the months before Christmas, but never during his Christmas Eve deliveries. This causes our children to question his existence. Why can’t they see him? Why must they be asleep? As I explained to DC, Santa has a job to do. If he took the time to stop and visit with the children in every house he delivered gifts to, even with his magic, he would never be able to finish in time to get back to the North Pole to celebrate Christmas with Mrs. Claus and the elves.

It took DC many years to understand Santa. He knew he would receive gifts, but the whole idea of Santa was not something that could be understood easily. His not understanding, did not stop Santa from leaving him gifts.

When it finally clicked and he did finally get it, he was all in! Now that he does understand, he would never and will never question his existence.

The one problem was, DC ‘s Christmas requests have always been small (in size) gifts. Santa could very well bring him 20 DVD’s, but the pile of gifts (visually) would be very small. DC doesn’t understand cost/size vs. number of gifts. He expects a very big pile of gifts. So, over the years I would always “supplement” the Santa pile with gifts of my own.

Being a single mother for more than 20 years now, I am the sole “supplement-or” (yes, I know that is not a word) of DC’s gifts. Which means I not only “add” to what Santa brings just to make the pile look more exciting for DC, but I also, of course, have to buy additional gifts from ‘Mom’. This gets to be a little bit overwhelming for me, not only in cost, but in trying to come up with other gifts ideas to make that “pile” he needs to see.

Now that DC is an adult, and the items he asks for are smaller still, it is becoming harder and harder to “supplement” Santa’s  gifts, to make that Christmas gift pile”,  I did finally have to confess to him that some parents, with adult children, have to help Santa out a little bit. Santa has so many little children to deliver packages to on Christmas Eve, that it is hard for him to get to everyone. So now that the is an adult, Santa only delivers his stocking and the rest of the gifts in his pile are from Mom. Santa always did a pretty good job with his stocking, by the way. He was fine with this. As long as Santa is coming, even just to bring a stocking, all is well.

Coincidentally, the morning I read the post from Autism-Mom, was the day that DC, his best friend, BB, BB’s Dad, Doug and I were going to take a ride on the Santa train.

Earlier this week, BB had just been told by one of his other friends that he was too old and should not still believe in Santa. He was upset by this, but BB knew better. He knew he was correct in believing.

Both DC and BB were very excited about riding the train. They always have the best time when they are together anyway.

stst2

Santa boarded the train a few minutes into our trip. He received more hugs that he expected, I imagine.

BB mentioned to Santa, what his friend had said to him that week. Santa took a little bit of time to talk about it with BB and DC.

(This video below is very poor quality – it was dark on the Santa train, but you can hear some the conversation and Santa’s advice to BB)

“Those who don’t believe, well they are the one’s that are missing out” ~ Santa Claus

So there you have it, straight from Santa’s mouth. BB felt much better. He knew it before but now he really knows that he was right all along…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Holiday Reruns – In Search of… the Christmas Spirit

 

From December 2016 – In an attempt to muster up some Christmas Spirit, we decided to try to find and visit a few “Christmassy” towns and/or events. What I was really looking for was one of those little towns that one sees over and over again while watching far too many Hallmark Christmas movies (they start running in October, you know).

I wanted to find one of those places where the hotel room is decorated for Christmas. Where you can walk out onto the overly decorated street to find carolers singing, a hot chocolate/cookie stand, Christmas parades and Santa out on the town green. I don’t really care all that much for hot chocolate, but that is what I want. Where can I find a place like that?

Although we did not find the “Hallmark Village”, we did visit a few interesting and yes, “Chrissmassy” places.

Our search will be continued this season… so look out Hallmark, here we come.

In the meantime, let’s revisit last year’s search.

 

#TravelingWithDC – Christmas Quick Trips

DC loves Christmas as much as he loves Halloween.

He loves getting to see Santa, but even more than Santa, he LOVES the rare occasions when he gets to see Mrs. Claus.

His Mrs. Claus cup runneth over this year…..

Me, not having the happiest year this year, needed a boost and set out looking for some Christmas Spirit. Although, I did not really find it – DC sure did.
It was enough for me just seeing him enjoying himself so much and all of the Mrs. Claus sightings certainly added to his excitement about Christmas coming.

Below are a few Facebook posts along with some photos of our journeys this Christmas season (and maybe a little bit before the season)

Our first Christmas-themed trip was accidental. We decided to visit the Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield, MA. We did not know that we would find Christmas, but find it we did.

Trees, lights and snow.

There was singing in the snow……

And…. the first Mrs. Claus sighting of the year!
Thinking he was going to be disappointed that Santa was not there – she apologized and told him that Santa was busy at the factory. Little did she know that Mrs. Claus beats Santa anytime in DC’s book.

There was lots to see and still enough time to take in a show – a quick one.

Thanksgiving was spent in the Essex, CT area but Christmas was already all around..

No trip is ever complete without a book store visit.

December hit and even after a full month of sappy Hallmark Christmas movies under my belt, the spirit was eluding me. So we took a trip to Mystic, CT for the Christmas Fair.

DC’s first meeting with Santa of the season. Santa was unprepared for the big hug he received!

Then he spotted Mrs. Claus! She got an even bigger hug! The icing on the cake!

There were elves, carolers and llamas wandering about. There was music, magic

and an Alice In Wonderland Tea Shop and Store.

There was of course a visit to a book store but I forgot to take a photo.

Treats; we can not forget the treats with hot chocolate.

DC, of course was full of Christmas Spirit by now. I, on the other hand was not…. but it was still enjoyable watching him get so excited.

We planned a weekend in Sturbridge Village the weekend before Christmas, but there was a big storm. Luckily we were able to cancel and re-book for the following weekend. This would mean we would be away on Christmas Eve, Eve and Christmas Eve Day. We would have to rush home for Christmas Eve night at my mother’s house. It would be a little bit rushed, but we decided to book it.

I am glad we did. DC had the best time!

It was just beginning to get crowded when we arrived so one of the workers told us that we would have better luck if we followed the map backwards and went to see Santa first. Later the wait would be hours long. We took that advice and headed straight for Santa.

Santa spent quite a long time with DC -, so much time that I was beginning to get nervous that we were holding up the line. DC was thrilled.

Next, we visited the Talking Tree – he got a big kick out of that.

But he was a little preoccupied by a sign he noticed on the way up to see Santa so that HAD to be our next stop. He was not going to wait any longer.

His THIRD visit with Mrs. Claus this year!

One Happy Guy, right there.

The rest of the Village was “A Christmas Carole” inspired. We watched the lighting of the tree, Carolers were singing. DC met the Ghost of Christmas Present and actually asked him a question instead of his usual reciting of movie lines.

He was not willing to try a sampling of the Cratchit Family Christmas Dinner, though.

“No, No. No! I didn’t! No, I don’t like it!”






At the Bonfire – “Mom, I am getting very nervous about this!”

Yes, of course. Didn’t you know? Couldn’t you guess? There were …….

BOOKS!

****

That year we weren’t home for Christmas..

 

The holiday season is here and I will admit to having a bit of a Love/Hate relationship with holidays in general. I want to love them, I do, it just does not always work out that way.  I have reached the age where I should be able to place a 2 or 3 foot silver Christmas tree on a table somewhere and have that be the end of it, but I may never achieve that particular rite of passage because of course, DC loves the holidays.

I am glad he does and watching his excitement does help me get more in the spirit of things (that and watching too many Hallmark Christmas movies).

He is excited, so I am excited for him.

A few years ago we decided to move our then regularly scheduled, first week of January vacation to the week of Christmas just to avoid all of the holiday hoopla.

Did we choose a “Christmassy” destination like those found in the Hallmark movies?

No.

We chose Disney because nothing else could take the confusion out of or help soften the blow of a “different” Christmas than another trip to Disney.

I was still worried that this would not be Christmas in DC’s eyes because Florida is really not the place that comes to mind when one thinks Christmas.

And then I worried about the gifts…

From 2014:

The Christmas Vacation Dilemma

A few days before Christmas, I read a post from another favorite blogger of mine, Mother O’ Jim, titled “When Delaying is Enhancing…” . The blog was about her son’s Christmas anxiety over a gift he knew he was going to receive (give it a read if you have a minute) and the steps taken to minimize his anxiety.

While I was reading this post I was thinking about DC. Although he does get very excited and anxious around Christmas-time, reminding me many times everyday that “Christmas is coming soon” – he does not seem to get as anxious as Jim from the blog.

I was a little bit concerned about this Christmas though. Everything about this holiday season seemed to be different. Thanksgiving is normally spent at a restaurant (the same restaurant) with DC, Doug, my brother and sister-in-law and at times, my niece. This year, my niece had moved out of state a few months earlier and Doug was away on a cruise with his sister and his father. The restaurant even seemed to be different, more crowded and much less organized.

DC’s Dad decided to go to Florida for an undetermined amount of time. He left in mid-November. He would not be here around Christmas for DC and for the first time ever, we decided to take our vacation a few weeks earlier than usual and were scheduled to leave Christmas morning. We had to leave the house by 8:30 in the morning.

DC does understand that now that he is an adult, Santa only brings his stocking. The rest of the gifts are from me (Mom). But, would he understand when he woke up on Christmas morning to only a stocking, even if he received the same big pile of gifts the night before? I explained this to him over and over again and he said he understood. This NEVER means that he really understands.

After reading the blog I spoke of earlier, I got a little bit more anxious about it. Jim was happy to get his gift early as would DC, but I know in his head, this would not – even if he agreed that it would – eliminate the expectation of the Christmas morning pile of gifts. I know this from the many, many times I have given him choices to do “this” or have “this” now instead of later or instead of doing or having something different. He agrees but then still expects whatever he traded away.

I realized that I would have to do more than explain it to him over and over again. I thought about showing him pictures, but then I realized that it would make more sense to him and he would not think he’s missing out if he saw the same pile of gifts just being given at a different time.

So I took a photo of our tree and another of the bookcase where Santa usually leaves his stocking and I usually leave his surprise gifts. Then I cut out photos of presents that I could move from one place to the other so he could see that he would be getting the same amount of gifts, just earlier than usual.

(These photos are not of our tree. The originals were terrible. It seems that every time I need to print – the ink just about gone)

Normally after opening gifts at my mother’s, we come home and DC opens the gifts that are already under the tree. There is usually only a few because he knows he’ll be receiving Mom’s hidden gifts in the morning with his stocking from Santa.

normalxmaseve

Gifts from Mom on Christmas Eve

More gifts from Mom and Stocking from Santa on Christmas morning

normalxmasday

More Gifts From Mom and a Stocking from Santa

I had him move the gifts himself, from Christmas morning to Christmas Eve.

vacaxmaseve

Christmas Eve – ALL of Mom’s Gifts

So…..Christmas morning would be just Santa.

vacaxmasday

(Santa would surprise him with another stocking at the hotel when we arrived, but he was not aware of this yet)

We did this every day until I was as sure as I could be that he understood that he was getting the same amount of gifts… just earlier.

Still I was a little bit nervous about Christmas morning….

He was up very early as usual – this was fine since we had to leave early.
He saw the stocking filled with everything he’d asked Santa for. He was happy, maybe not as excited as he usually is, but he wasn’t disappointed – that had been my biggest concern.

There was enough time to use and play with everything in the stocking and enough time to watch the entire Peter Pan Live DVD he’d asked for.
He never made it through the 3 hour version when it was live on TV, but without commercials, it was only an hour and a half!
I am still not a fan….but this time around, DC really enjoyed it.

As DC would say, “Phew, I was very nervous about this!”

Fortunately, it worked out well and he had a Merry Christmas!

As for me, I am still in search of that Hallmark-like Christmas Town and that 3 foot silver tree remains a dream.

*****

This is a Finish the Sentence Friday post:

Finish the Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular sentence. This week’s prompt – “The holiday season is coming, and…”

Visit the link at Finding Ninee to read more FTSF posts.

It’s Thanksgiving..

 

DC has been counting the days waiting for Thanksgiving to arrive and just know that he would never imagine keeping me out of the loop on this…… daily/hourly/every few minutes.

I do have to say that his ‘Thanksgiving’ pronunciation has improved over the past year but “firsday’ is still ‘firsday’

I am not really sure why he looks forward to this holiday so much. He will eat turkey (preferably with bones) but other than that, there is really nothing else “Thanksgivingy” that he will eat.

Turkey and bread. That is about the extent of it and honestly if there are no bones (legs or wings) to be had, the bread is really the main event. He will eat the turkey but he is not very excited about it.

He does look forward to seeing his aunt and uncle. He enjoys staying in a hotel.

And there’s dessert. We can’t forget the dessert.

Or the bread..

Happy a Happy Holiday!

*****

Happy Thanksgiving!

(November 2015)

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving…..

Someone I know is looking very forward to a turkey leg –

or “Chicken with bones and sprinkles”

-although I’m sure the wings will do in a pinch.

It’s all about the bones.

But bones aside,  right now he would just like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

“I Love you, Mom” (Just a little Thanksgiving Quickie)

(November 2013)

DC flashing the I Love you Sign as he does almost anytime he walks by me.

DC flashing the I Love you Sign as he does almost anytime he walks by me.

Who would not be thankful for this wonderful child who will just flash me the “I Love You” sign, just because he happens to be walking by or just randomly peek around the corner to say “I love you, Mom”.

Happy Thanksgiving…….

***

Speaking of Bacon and Delayed Reactions…..

The subject of DC’s former aversion to bacon (it still creeps up every once in awhile) came up the other day and a discussion of his delayed reactions was had a little while back. Both made me think about this post from 2015, when he was convinced that bacon had given him the flu and the delayed reaction he had about it.

Imaginatively titled:

BACON


bacon

DC’s reactions are not always immediate. Due to these delayed reactions, it is not always easy for me to figure out just what is going on or what the problem might be.

When he was 4 or 5 he stopped eating – completely…. for close to a month. He would not swallow solid food.  With a lot of  coaxing he would put it in his mouth, but that was as far as it went before he would spit it out. After a few visits to the doctor to be sure this was not a medical issue, I, with the help of his teacher and IA, started looking for ideas to get him to eat again. I bought all of his favorite foods. They worked with him in the classroom. I even resorted to candy. Nothing!

One day, I was making him a steak, one of his favorites at the time. It was right then and there I realized what was going on. He actually looked frightened of the steak. This wasn’t a sensory thing, it was fear. After seeing the look of utter terror on his face I remembered a choking incident with a bagel one morning about a month before. The thing about it was that he didn’t react right away – otherwise I would have figured this out much sooner. He was fine afterwards and even finished the bagel he was eating.

I couldn’t pin-point exactly when or why the delayed reaction kicked in but it did and he was afraid to eat.  Once I figured out the reason, I was able to help him get back to eating solid food again. We started with pudding and yogurt and just dipped the tip of the spoon in, just so there was a taste on the spoon. I continued this way, increasing the taste on the spoon until he was taking a regular spoonful. I added other foods like applesauce to the menu. When that part was behind us, I started breaking up bread, into almost crumbs, until he realized it was safe for him to eat again.

DC used to ride horses. He rode once a week for a good 5 years, if not longer. One day his teacher had him riding in the outdoor rink (I’m sure there is a proper name for that, but I am calling it a rink) – he didn’t ride in the outdoor rink very often. Most of his lessons were inside. When he did ride outdoors, it was usually down the driveway, across the street and up the dead-end road and back. On this particular day in the outdoor rink (seriously, Kathleen is not going to be happy that I don’t know the proper name), his horse spooked, reared up went galloping wildly. It scared him, it scared me, but he stayed on and continued his lesson with no problem.

His indoor lesson the following week went well. His ride outside on the driveway route was fine too. It had to be a few months later when they tried to take him out to the outdoor rink that the fear kicked in. He wasn’t having any of it. He acted like he was never on a horse before. After thinking about it for a minute, I remembered and explained his reaction to the assistant. He was a little better once they went back inside but not at the level he was at the beginning of the lesson. The outdoor rink brought out his fear and that fear carried over to the indoor rink. It took a while for him to feel comfortable again.

About a year later his horse spooked during his inside lesson. Again, he seemed fine – Me? – Not so much. I was close to heart failure, but I didn’t let him see that – and rode the full hour as if nothing had happened. But… the following week he was terrified. He continued to be terrified until we finally just gave it up altogether. even though I was relieved to let it go,  it was a shame because at one time he really liked it. Horses were one of the few animals he was not afraid of. He was actually pretty good at it.

lm

So… over our Christmas vacation, DC got sick. Other than his bouts with his allergies, he rarely gets sick, but when he does, he really goes big! For a good few days afterward, he really didn’t want to eat at all. He seemed fine otherwise so I wasn’t really sure if he was still not feeling well or if he was just afraid to eat. I believe and still do, that he was #1 – exhausted from being sick and #2 – he was afraid and relating his illness to food. As we were on vacation and eating in restaurants daily, this was probably at least partially the case. He was eating lots of things that he doesn’t normally eat, at least not on a daily basis.

When he did finally feel like eating at little bit, there were certain foods I wanted him to stay away from so as not to upset his stomach all over again. He continued to be a little bit leery about eating for a good week after we were home. Last week, after going to see the Buddy Holly Story with his friend, BB, we all went out to dinner. DC ordered a cheeseburger with bacon. When it arrived, he removed the bacon and left it on the plate. I asked why, but I couldn’t get an answer. Now, I am almost positive he had bacon at least once since we’d come home from vacation, so I didn’t really think all that much about it.

DC discovered bacon a few years ago on a cruise ship and like his garlic bread, takes every opportunity to order it. I used to buy it for him, but decided that he really did not need to eat that much bacon, so I let it become one of his “restaurant only” foods, like cheeseburger and fries.

This week, at the hotel where we were ‘Snow-cationing’, bacon was available on the breakfast buffet. I didn’t really notice it until morning #3, but there was no way that DC had not seen it on the previous two mornings. I asked him if he wanted bacon. He started signing “all done”, a sign that he still uses when he REALLY does not want something. I asked him if he was sure. “No, Bacon!” – while signing more adamantly. “I don’t want to get sick! I don’t want to get sick!”.

Bacon had been one of the things I did not let him have after he got sick on vacation. Now, in his mind it was the reason he had gotten sick. There were a couple of other people in the breakfast room and I didn’t want him to continue yelling about “getting sick”, so I explained quickly that he did not have to have the bacon, but bacon was not the reason he became ill on vacation. He was getting more and more anxious about it, so I just let it go.

I know that some may disagree, but bacon is not really a necessity in anybody’s life, so I am not going to push it.

Now if I could somehow get him off the cheeseburgers and fries…….. hmmmmm.

One day my log will have something to say about this- Halloween 2017

It’s a wrap on Halloween 2017 and you knew there would be one more post on the subject.

———-

DC and I got a late start this year…..

As with everything this year, I really wasn’t in the “spirit”… We did not have any Halloween themed weekends planned and we did not even think about costumes until mid-September (which may seem normal for you, but for us – it is way behind schedule)

Once we sat down and started looking at costumes, the spirit started to kick back in a little bit.

Like last year, DC was pretty straight-forward with his costume choices. There was nothing that he wanted to be that did not exist or could not be put together quite easily. If he had more time to think about it as in previous years, that may not have been the case, but as Halloweens go, this looked to be another relatively easy year – or so I thought.

Although we did not have a Halloween trip planned, we did take a ride to the Blaze in Hudson Valley (very close to Sleepy Hollow) with BB and his family.

 

The weather was perfect and we all had a nice time. It finally began to feel like Halloween.

DC’s first “costumed” event was a dance held by his day/work program. DC does not normally attend the monthly dances because he says they are boring (and they sure are)… BUT when there is a costume involved, he is certainly willing to attend, even if just for a little while. Usually we just recycle a costume from a previous year for this event since he does not usually stay all that long.

He wore his Goblin King/Jareth costume (which he loves) to the dance. Last year I believe he lasted about 45 minutes at the dance. He just wants to wear his costume, eat and leave. This year I managed to get him to stay about an hour and a half – and there wasn’t even pizza!

One down….

The following day was the annual Best Buddies Halloween party. DC has two Buddies (sometimes 3 when one of their friends tags along) who, earlier in the month at an apple picking event asked him what he was going to be for the party. They were asking because they wanted to coordinate costumes with him. Hearing this, I told them that I just “happened” to have 2, possibly 3 costumes at home that went with DC’s costume and I went home while they were picking apples, to get them (no pressure at all).

They agreed….

He was in his glory….

Lumiere, Cogsworth and the Beast.

It was unfortunate that I was not able to find my old Belle costume because the 3rd Buddy was in attendance and DC would have just flipped to also have Belle with him.  These poor girls had to wear those DC-sized costumes all afternoon. I am sure there were plenty of pins involved, but they did it AND won a prize for the best threesome!

His next costume opportunity was a fundraiser for his camp held at Haunted Golf. He chose Kristoff from Frozen. It was a pretty good choice as it was a warm costume and it happened to be rather cold out there that night and there is nothing worse than having to wear a coat or jacket over one’s Halloween costume.

Nothing… Seriously… Look it up..it is just not done!

 

Just what kind of reading material would Kristoff bring to read while manning the camp table?

Well – Frozen of course!

One of the owners of the course, knowing DC’s love of Disney and princesses was not wearing her costume that night due to the low temperatures. As soon as she found out that DC was on the grounds, she went to change into Snow White just for him.

DC was thrilled and I really do not believe that he knew that Snow was the same person he was just talking to 10 minutes before. He did, however point out to her that she was missing her red headband/ribbon. He does not miss much when it comes to his princesses.

 

So far, so good… but this was about to change.

DC had asked to be Aladdin many times when he was younger. This was back when there was only one costume per season on Halloween – before there were parties to attend too. Back then (and still to this day) his official Halloween night costume always included me and Doug (before Doug had enough and started opting out) – it was a theme; always. Being Aladdin meant that I was supposed to be Jasmine. I may not have always been in the “weighty”  situation that I find myself in today, but still – that was not happening. Eventually he forgot about it, until this summer when he found an Aladdin hat to wear for Disney Day at Camp. It must have reminded him and Aladdin was first on his list this year.

He decided on Prince Ali of ‘A-ba-ba-ba-ba” (Agrabah) – This turned out to be a case of me not taking the ‘wearing’ of the costume into consideration after seeing him so excited to find exactly what he wanted.

Oftentimes, even with an XL adult costume, there are pieces that just do not fit around his waist. Salli’s Mom came to my rescue the year before and sewed an extra piece of matching material in the back of his Jareth vest so it was comfortable for him. But there was not all that much that could be done with Prince Ali.

The suit itself was all one piece that zipped up the back. The cape, gold sashes and gold belt were all one piece too. The idea was to put the whole thing over his head and close the belt in the back with Velcro.

Problem #1:  Someone would have to unzip and zip the suit for him of he had to use the restroom.

Problem #2: The belt did not make it around his waist, which meant I had to pin it directly to the once piece costume, making it even more difficult to remove to use the restroom.

It’s a 2 hour party – you say. Chances are he will not even have to use the restroom – you say. Well all of the people reading this who know DC personally are laughing hysterically at you right now, trust me.

Immediately after arriving, he was already asking to use the restroom. I took him, got the whole thing off, got the whole thing back on and he walked back into the stall!!!!

Me: “What are you doing?”

DC: “Bafroom”

Aaaaannnnndd I took the whole thing off and put the whole thing back on again…

Back at the party, I had to first apologize to the director for choosing this costume, then explain that someone would need to help him if he needed the restroom again and show them how to get him out of it. Well…. DC heard “restroom” and you guessed it; one more time!

I took the whole thing off and put it all back on for the third time in less than 15 minutes. I was starting to lose it at this point and it was certainly time for Salli’s mom and I to leave and get some coffee. I was certain that by the time we got back for pick-up, I would find the costume abandoned in a corner somewhere.  I was pleasantly surprised that he was still wearing it and was still happy to be wearing it. (Just to be clear – DC was having no problem with the costume at all. He could care less that it was such a production getting it off. I did think that the staff might have gotten quite sick of it at some point and have him just leave it off – I would not have blamed them in the least)

 

Moving on to HALLOWEEN!

His party costumes are all about him. Our Halloween night costumes are all about us (more so now than when he was younger). They are about things that both of us enjoy or are significant to us. There have been plenty of times that no one knew who or what we were or I wasn’t as hilariously clever as I thought I was, but we do not care. We know who we are and we have fun.

This duo, on paper should have been easy.

DC was going to dress as Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks and I was going as The Log Lady.

No sweat!

Wrong!

DC’s costume was relatively easy. Fortunately there are plenty of “Castiel” overcoat costumes out there. All we needed was a shirt, tie and a wig and then I had to come up with a trick-or-treat bag.

Bags and props are important. One just cannot use your standard everyday trick-or-treat bag.

When we did the Oz theme it was DC, Doug and I. We did not have a forth for the Loin. I decorated his bucket as a loin. When he was Dr. Horrible, he carried a “Penny’s Frozen Yogurt” bag – The Doctor;  a Dalek bag – Elf; a Christmas bag – Jareth; The Babe with the power bag – you get the point.

I decided he needed a giant coffee cup and believe it or not, I found a giant coffee cup! The cup arrived and in the continuing saga of “what was I thinking” I realized that it was just much too heavy for him to carry around with him. Shocking, that A Giant Ceramic Coffee Cup would actually be heavy, I know. I decided that we would use it for photos only and began my search for a Coffee or Twin Peaks bag.

 

Finding a bag was not as difficult as I assumed. Mission accomplished.

The Log Lady:

Sweater, Wig, Glasses and a log – Easy? As it turned out, no.

Finding an ugly sweater with a belt was next to impossible. I finally had to settle for a men’s sweater and added a belt, but I wasn’t happy with it.

A wig. I bought 3 – destroyed 2 trying to cut them.

Log. I could have gone out to the yard but I wanted something that was not too heavy. I was extremely excited to find a log pillow – perfect!

The final wig made me look like a very old version of Velma from Scooby Doo and it was HOT! I decided that since my real hair is in a pretty disastrous state right now, I would just go with that. I never even made it out of the house wearing the wig.

By the time I was ready, I pretty much looked like some random woman with questionable taste in sweaters and eye-wear. Not quite the Log Lady.

Oh well. DC looked good

He had fun eating pizza and trick-or-treating with his friends.

 

 

They had an enjoyable candy-filled night and DC had a fun Halloween season. The Aladdin costume will never see the light of day again and I am left with a pretty cool looking log.


 

****

Don’t forget to visit our Halloween Page – Imaginatively Titled: WE LOVE HALLOWEEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Is Our Thing – #FinishTheSentenceFriday

Halloween.

I have been an avid fan for as long as I can remember. If I am honest I am sure that some of my love for the “holiday” comes from me being able to be someone other than myself. I am sure this was the case when I was a kid and I think a little bit of that feeling of not having to be me for one night has carried over into adulthood.

My first costume memories were those old boxed costumes that were made up of a plastic smock imprinted with the image of a gown, dress, uniform or suit  and the dreaded mask that seemed to look the same for every character. We just thought we were “all that” while parading around in one of those costumes.

Although the description on the box always said it contained a “ventilated mask”, I remember never really being able to breathe and/or the mask filling up with hot air and my face sweating profusely. The eyes never seemed to be positioned so that one could actually see and the jagged edges where the eye holes were cut out would dig into the corners of your eye. The flimsy elastic band that was supposed to hold the mask around your head would, without fail, snap halfway through trick-or treating and you would end up holding the mask in front of your face for the rest of your trick-or-treat adventure.

But still, we loved those costumes. My favorite was always Cinderella or a just a generic princess.

Photo Attribute: By Tim1965 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Photo Attribution – See Below

There was a point in time when I really began to hate these “costumes” especially when I started to notice other kids wearing all different kinds of costumes; they weren’t plastic smocks – they looked like real articles of clothing.  There was no longer the parade of boxed costumes everywhere and some of these newfangled costumes did not even have a mask! Gasp! What was this sorcery?

But in our house, if we couldn’t find or put together a costume from articles of clothing or items that we already had, the boxed costume was the only other option. It would be a few years before I was able to partake.

****

When I finally graduated out of the boxed costume, I remember a gown. I know it was not purchased for me to wear as a costume (we did not do that, remember?). I think it was my mother’s. I do not remember why she had it. She may have been in a play or something when she was younger, but I was in heaven! Heaven!

I remember that gown like it was yesterday. It was a peachy/pink color and lacy and I am sure in reality did not look as gorgeous as it did in my head but I sure did believe that I was just the living end when I wore that gown.

I don’t have any photos of that gown or of me wearing it. Halloween was not a big deal to my parents so the family Halloween photo was never a thing when I was younger. I do believe that there may be the random Halloween family photo of my younger brothers, but I have never seen any of me or my next in age brother.

I wore that gown for years. After dragging it across sidewalks and catching it on my shoes, tree branches, shrubs or anything else I would happen to walk by on my trick-or-treat route, it looked a little bit worse for wear. But still I continued to wear it since I was not going to get a store bought costume and was too big (and too cool, of course) for the plastic boxed costumes. I suppose that I could have gone the “hobo/bum” route that my brothers took every . single . year, because one could do that easily with stuff we already had laying around – a flannel shirt, a stick with the kerchief, a little dirt to your face and ….voila – a Hobo.

But I always wanted to be pretty and wearing the princess gown and maybe even some makeup always made me feel pretty. I loved Halloween because I got to feel pretty for that night. To this day, Halloween is the only day of the year that I wear lipstick – if the costume calls for it, of course.

****

I was around 11 or 12 when I decided that I was just too cool for trick-or-treating and costumes. That decision was largely based on the fact that my friends did not think it cool any more. That happened to be the same year that Halloween was just about cancelled. There had been a growing epidemic over the past few Halloween’s of razor blades in apples, laxatives disguised as chocolate, and so many other evils, that many people (at least in our area) did not let their children go out for trick-or-treat at all. Back in those days there were no safe Halloween trick-or-treat parties at firehouses or held by civic organizations as there are today. Halloween was trick-or-treating or nothing. I remember our doorbell ringing only once and my mother being shocked that it rang at all.

Even though Halloween was about over for me; because…. being too cool and all – I was sad thinking that this might very well be the end of it for everyone. Fortunately that did not turn out to be the case and things got right back to normal the following year.

****

Fast forward to my 20’s when I discovered that Halloween was not over for me at all! There were parties. Parties with costumes. It was in my 20’s when I honed the skill of using powder eye shadow on my face instead of the gloppy pasty stuff they sold for Halloween face color.  I came up with some pretty good costume ideas but more often than not, I got so involved in helping my friends come up with and put together their costumes that my ideas ended up being thrown together at the last minute. They still came out relatively well, but they did not look like what I originally had pictured in my head. I was the Halloween Costume Queen…. but for every one else, not always for me.

****

Then came Halloween at work. Back in the raggedy princess gown days  I would never have imagined that I would still be celebrating Halloween after the age of 12 or 13 and certainly not at the office.

I will admit to being just a tad “high pressure” when it comes to Halloween…. but really – If everyone would just follow directions, fall in line and embrace the theme (there must always be a theme), it would all go so much more smoothly…..

but seriously…

no pressure.

No pressure at all.

****

When DC was born I had happy visions of  walking the neighborhood with him just like when I was a kid. I managed to control myself on his first Halloween as he was less than a year old and went with the standard baby pumpkin costume.

1991

The following year we all dressed in Star Trek attire – which was also not over the top for him; he just had to wear a shirt. The next year I started to try to add to the costumes (makeup, hair color) just to see how far he would let me go costume-wise.

1993 Vampires

Let’s just say, it did not go well. He did it; but getting everything on him was not fun and I had to give up on much of the make-up and hair color spray. Once on, he did all right, but I knew I had to rein it in next year. Fortunately I did not scar him for life about Halloween.

When he was 4 I started noticing that Disney costumes were becoming more available we were able to find a Peter Pan – one of his favorites at the time. This is where we turned a corner and right there…. he was sold….

1994

He was just thrilled to realize that he could be any Disney character that he wanted to be; and he has been quite a few over the years. Of course, I would always dress right along with him and our costumes were/are always compatible.

When he got older I began noticing that he was having a hard time choosing between all of the characters available and since there were now parties to attend as well  – I let him start picking out a few different costumes for the parties. Now…. you might say that we have gotten carried away or that I am spoiling him but, the list of things and activities that DC really cares about is limited, so if he loves Halloween and costumes;  I am going to do what I can to see that he has a great time with it. Maybe, just maybe, having to wear that same ragged princess dress year after year plays into it a bit – maybe just a tad.

But I will tell you, for a kid who has to have tags cut out of everything and many other sensory issues, he will do and wear just about anything when it comes to Halloween – make-up, wigs, bald caps glued to his head or scars glued on to his face, eyebrows, mustaches and just about anything but a mask. I can’t say that I blame him there.

His party costumes are all about him. Our Halloween night costumes are all about us (more so now than when he was younger). They are about things that both of us enjoy. There have been plenty of times that no one knew who or what we were or I wasn’t as hilariously clever as I thought I was, but we do not care. We know who we are and we have fun.

He is 26 now. I never imagined Halloween would still be thrill for him and I love that it is something that we can go all out and overboard about together…. I hope he never tires of it.

We have already been to two parties so far this season and are looking forward to a few more before Halloween night rolls around. As he walked in to the dance held by his work/day program last week, one of the staff said to me: “Look at him just walking in to the party with all of that on, looking so comfortable like he is wearing his regular every day clothes.”

Yep, that’s my “boy”…….

****

Be sure to visit our Halloween Page: We Love Halloween! We love it so much, we gave it it’s own page.


I am honored to co-host Finish the Sentence Friday this week with host Kristi Campbell of Finding Ninee . The prompt this week –  “When it comes to Halloween….” 

Link up or just read some of the Halloween offerings at the blue button below… (link is open for posting through Sunday evening)

Finish the Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular sentence. If you’d like to stay ahead of future sentences and participate, join our Facebook group.  Link up your sentence prompts below! Please no “link dumping.” If you include a link, comment on other posts.

******

Photo: Tinkerbell Boxed Costume: By Tim1965 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)  via Wikimedia Commons

He was right next to me

It happened a few weeks ago…..

DC wanted to make pizza. “Making” pizza means opening a ready-made crust, adding sauce, ‘sparkling’ cheese (Veggie grated cheese), garlic powder (because he is obsessed with garlic) and pepperoni.

We do this often and DC helps with quite a lot of it.

I had opened the crust and the sauce. DC spread the sauce around the top of the crust and sprinkled his garlic and cheese all over it. I got the pepperoni out of the refrigerator. It was already opened from the last time we made pizza. I buy the pepperoni already sliced in a bag, because I buy turkey pepperoni and I really haven’t seen it in any other form, and it is just easier.

We have about 4 feet of counter space to work on with almost 2 feet taken up by the microwave, so when I say that “I was right next to him”, I mean right next to him. Our arms were probably touching.

He was putting his pepperoni on his pizza and I was putting something in the microwave. I looked over and saw him with the scissors holding one of those anti-moisture packs (silica gel) over his pizza, ready to cut it open and sprinkle it over his pizza. It must have been in the pepperoni pack.

You know, those packs that say “Do Not Eat” and “Throw Away”? Yes, those.

I have read up on them more since this incident and have found out that they are not poisonous and probably will not hurt you unless eaten in large quantities, but the fact remains that the “Do Not Eat” and “This is not food – Throw Away”, would lead one to believe that they are poisonous and harmful. I have always believed that to be the case, so much so that I have talked to DC about them before. They are always in his juice mix. I usually get to them before he finds them but I have talked to him about them many times. Finding one in his pepperoni did make a connection in his mind to the discussions about the packs in his juice mix. It is two different things. We talked about juice, not pepperoni. **

That day (still believing that they were dangerous) I was beside myself. I went over it and over it with him. He laughed at first but when I burst into tears I think he understood that this was serious (but not understanding why) and am pretty confident that he will not touch one of those again.

It haunted me for weeks… finding out that they were not dangerous as I had always believed did not make me feel any better. He was ready to eat some strange thing. He did not know what it was but he was ready to eat it anyway (How does that even happen when there is such a limited number of foods that he WILL eat?).

DC does not just “pick up” on information (see: A Chair is Still a Chair) he has to be taught – he has to be shown. After the teaching and the showing; if he still does not understand, I have to resort to making a rule.

I resort to “rules” when I know something is beyond his grasp.  (Oh! The rules I have had to make!). Please don’t tell me that I am not giving him enough credit. I try and try to explain in many, many different ways and I do not give up even after the rule is made, but his safety has to come first.

He knows what rules are.

He follows rules.

He does not have to understand the rule – it’s a rule so he follows it.

Many times, rules are the only way I can keep him safe.

He follows rules; that is a good thing.

The downside of this is that – he follows….

If someone with not the best intentions were to tell him to do something – he would. He is following directions and aren’t we supposed to follow directions? Isn’t that what he was taught to do? If someone tells you to do something, you do it – right?

There are no gray areas.

I remember being at a relative’s house when DC was little. He was sitting on the floor and had gotten hold of a plastic bag. When I took the bag away from him a family member said “He’s not going to put it on his head and suffocate right in front of us, you know.” Yes, I did know that but if he was going to learn not to play with plastic bags then I couldn’t let him play with plastic bags. Period. There is not a “sometimes you can” category  It is either you can or you can’t, with DC and the rule was “he couldn’t”.

I cannot teach him to follow my rules but not to follow other’s rules.

I cannot give him a list of whose rules he should follow – teachers, his boss, his staff, police, etc. because there will always be something that comes up that strays from that list.

DC knew I was very upset about the pizza incident but again… he did not understand why.  Very often, he does not understand things unless they happen. When I told him that he could have gotten very sick, it did not mean a lot to him. Sick means a cold, sick means the flu, sick means a ‘heady-ache’ and nothing more serious than that.

He looks both ways when crossing the street but I do not always believe he is really LOOKING at anything. Most times he is just going through the motions, which is why he never crosses the street alone. He does not understand what can really happen if he were to be hit by a car or if he was involved in any other sort of accident. He does not understand unless it happens and as I do not want any of these things to happen, I have to just keep finding different ways to explain safety to him and making rules.

There was this one time that DC (before he had his own laptop) was eating in the kitchen watching something on my computer, which was on the other side of the table. I was 10 feet away in the living room. I heard him get up quickly and I knew something was wrong. He was choking. But he did not jump out of his chair to come to get me. He jumped out of his chair to run to the other side of the kitchen to pause the movie BEFORE he came to get me! (I came running when I heard him jump up, but the fact of the matter was that he was more concerned about his movie than choking. He knew something was wrong and he was panicked but his movie came first.). If he hadn’t been able to get whatever was lodged in his throat up by himself, would he not let me help until his movie was paused? I honestly do not know.

He just cannot understand the “why” of things.

Why should he get help before pausing his movie?

Why can’t he walk into the road?

Why can’t he eat the moisture pack?

Why can’t he talk to strangers? And what IS a stranger?

Someone he doesn’t know?

——-Why can he say hello to all of the people he doesn’t know when we walk on the trail? Aren’t they strangers?

Why can’t he stick the knife or a fork in the toaster?

Why can’t he put his hand on the stove when it’s on?

Why can’t he run with scissors, play with knives, stick things into electrical outlets?

Why?

But there is no way on earth that I can come up with every single thing that might happen or could be dangerous. If he understood the “why” of things it might be easier for him to see the danger in some things without having to have everything explained to him.

So I have to keep him close to me and hope that when he is out of my eye shot, the people who are charged with keeping him safe will keep him just as close.

But then again, in this case…. he was right next to me….

****

 

 

 

**Please do not take this post as a be all end all about moisture packs being safe. I looked into it and that is what I found, BUT I am sure there are exceptions. Always call poison control or seek medical advice if they happen to be ingested.**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Envelopes, Bags, Shredding and Communication

 

Last weekend was one of those weekends where DC was just all over me, all of the time. I could not make a move without hearing “Mom! Come here please.” or “Vickie, where are you going?”.

Every step I took, he was calling me, most of the time for no reason at all.

I was upstairs plunging the bathroom sink. I really do not know what the deal is with that sink, but I seem to spend a lot of time plunging it. DC had already checked in to see what I was doing more than once and had gone back to his computer. I had already been up and down the stairs a good 6 times because he always waits until I get to where I am going before he asks me to “Come here, please” so I decided that I would call him for a change.

We had just been grocery shopping and I left the bag that held the drain-o on the kitchen table.

For someone who was so concerned about where I was all day long, it took me six (very loud) tries to get him to answer me.

“DC, please bring me the white bag that’s on the kitchen table.”

He came to the bottom of the stairs with a shipping envelope.

I would understand the confusion if I had asked him for an envelope from the table. The table holds, I can’t even tell you how many envelopes and other papers that I think maybe I need to keep, or that I have to find a spot for, or mail that I don’t really have to keep but has to be shredded or junk mail that has to be shredded before throwing away (Chase, Capital One and AARP – I’m talking to you!). Getting rid of all of it would mean that I would have to empty the shredder – so there it all sits.

(You will be happy to know that I did get rid of about 50% of the envelopes and paper this week while watching an episode of Star Trek Discovery on the computer in the kitchen. All of the shred-able items went into the sink to be mashed up into clumps and thrown away while the shredder sits there, still full… Oh, the lengths I will go not to have to empty the shredder.)

He knows what a bag is, but for some reason the request threw him off. I asked again for the white bag that was on the table. After the second request he brought me the bag, but now I had to worry about what he did with the shipping envelope because it contained part of his Halloween costume.

When I got back downstairs I asked him where he put the envelope. He pointed upstairs – which is where he brought the bag when I asked for it. I tried to explain:

“DC, before you brought me the bag, you had an envelope in your hand. Where did you put it when you came back to get the bag?”

He just began pointing to random places. Places in the living room, in the kitchen, outside, and upstairs.

I even tried to re-enact the whole thing by getting an envelope, bringing it to the bottom of the stairs and saying “No DC, I need the bag on the table” going back to the kitchen and asking “Where did you put the envelope that you had?”

He just could not understand what I wanted.

I did not want to give up because at this point I wanted him to understand the question.

As we were going through the reenactment, I noticed that the envelope was in a box, which was probably right where he found it originally, but I did not let on that I saw it. So I went through the whole thing again, this time pointing to the table where it clearly wasn’t, asking “Did you put the envelope here?”

DC: “No”

Pointing to the empty chair – “Did you put it here?”

DC: “No”

Pointing to the box, where I had spotted it – “Did you put it here?”

DC: “Yes”

“There it is! Thank you for telling me where you put it.”

He was glad that we found it and was no longer anxious about what I was asking for and I hoped that after all of the looking, reenacting, and explaining he finally understood what I had been asking him.

But this, right here is my point. This is why I write these stories. Some may be written with humor and some may come across as “Oh, look at the cute thing DC did or said” (he does crack me up at times) but my object is always to make people understand how his mind works.

He has speech – yes. He can communicate – yes. But communication is difficult, he cannot always tell me anything other than his standard scripted answers. He cannot always follow directions. He might understand something one day but the next day he just cannot get it.

A simple question about where he put something took a good half hour to get him to understand. I am not positive that in the end he actually DID understand but we had to play it out all the way so he was not anxious about it anymore. He had to be the one to say “yes, it was there” or he would not feel better about it.

This is DC.

This is how he communicates or at times does not communicate. This is how he follows directions and at times cannot follow directions. This is how he processes questions and sometimes cannot process questions. This is how he processes information and sometimes just cannot process information.

Because he gives standard answers, people do not always realize right away that he is not giving the correct answer to their question. People who know that he may just be giving a standard scripted answer may not realize it when he DOES understand the question and gives the correct reply.  Other people he meets along the way in life are not going to take the time to reenact the whole scenario to get to the answer to that question. It is a constant struggle for him and for me, but we do not give up.

I know at 26 years of age there is not a lot of progress that will be made. I know that we will never get to a point where I don’t fear the future when he no longer has me to help him,  but we do not stop trying. There is always a little bit of progress made – there is always something…..

 

****

I AM absolutely aware that this post is just all over the place but sometimes that’s just how our life is – all over the place.

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk About Kim Rhodes #SPNNJ

For the few people who may not have heard, we attended the Supernatural NJ Con this past weekend. Because I have learned a “few” things over the years; specifically that I would not hear about anything else for months ahead of time if DC knew that Kim Rhodes was scheduled to be there – I did not mention it to him. But DC being DC somehow figured it out (I still do not know how) and trust me, I have heard about “Zack and Cody’s Mom” daily since July.

You can read about it here: Zack and Cody’s Mom!

and here:

and here:

 

Believe me, these….just the tip of the iceberg!

We stayed in New Jersey within walking distance of the convention center. We spent Friday in New York City (DC’s favorite place) and Saturday was spent at the convention center (Sunday, back to NYC – It was HOT…just sayin’!)

Not wanting to make the day uncontrollably long for DC, we arrived at the convention center somewhere around 12/1230. Knowing that DC expects regularly scheduled meals and remembering NY ComicCon where we sat on the floor with pretzels because we could not get near anything else – I started the lunch explanations early; we would stop somewhere on the way to the convention center and have “second breakfast” and we should be able to get some snacks in the convention center here and there during the day. Oddly enough, I only had to go over that 4 or 5 times before he stopped stressing out about not having a regulation lunch.

Our scheduled autograph session with Kim Rhodes was not until 3pm so we looked around a bit.

We stopped at the RandomActs.org table and made a donation. DC, being his charming self had trouble deciding between a button or a temporary tattoo all the while eyeing the teddy bear that was sitting on the table. He asked me for the bear. I told him that it was just for decoration (as I believe that it was). After almost finally deciding on the tattoo, one of the women whispered “Does he want a bear?” I told her that he would love to have one and asked how much they wanted for it.

She said that he had made her day and she wanted him to have one. They even put a little pin on the bear for him. He carried that bear around with him all. day. long.

Not very long after that, Ruth Connell came out to her autograph table. I am not sure that DC knew who she was but the red hair had him intrigued. She had it all pulled up so there was no need for my “Do Not Touch Her Hair” speech/warnings.

Finally it was time to get in line for Kim Rhodes. I had purchased a ticket for the autograph session and the photo op months before because I was not taking any chances of him not getting to see her. Because I never had to purchase a ticket for an autograph session before, (there are just usually photos on the table, you pick one, pay cash and they sign) I did not realize that we had to have something for her to sign already. We were second in line so I yelled for “poor” Doug and told him he had to hurry up and go to the table out in the vendor area and buy a picture. She was not at the table yet and Doug having no idea who any of these people at the convention were went up an octave or so and screeched:  “How can I buy a picture if I don’t know what she looks like?” I hadn’t thought of that and I just started laughing. Doug is a pretty mellow guy but when he does get exasperated with me (very seldom) and moves into this weird high-pitched voice, I just cannot help but laugh – a lot. The woman behind us (getting a kick out of the whole exchange) showed Doug the picture she had and off he went. Before he reached the vendor area, he turned around and started coming back…. I turned to the woman and said “Watch. He is going to give me that schedule in his hand and tell me to use that.”

She laughed.

He did.

She laughed harder.

But finally he did go back out to buy a proper pic. We just let one person at a time go ahead of us until he came back.

Finally, photo in hand – the big moment.

DC was beyond excited! There are times when he gets so overly excited about something that by the time he gets there he flames right out, but he didn’t. I asked him who this was and he answered “Zack and Cody’s mother!” with that little screech that he does when he gets that excited.

They talked about his bear. She signed his picture. She said “I am not supposed to do this but I will” and wrote “You are awesome!” On his picture. I am guessing that in order to keep the lines moving the coordinators do not want the guests to spend too much time writing anything other than their signature?

We told her that we’d see her in an hour for a photo. DC was even more excited when she said that she is allowed to give hugs at the photo ops. DC misunderstood and thought he was getting a hug right there. When I told him that she was not allowed to hug at the table he would get one at the photo op, she decided to give him a big hug at the table anyway. A practice hug, they called it.

You CANNOT IMAGINE and I can not put into words just how over the top thrilled he was! That made his day.

The photo op came up quickly and as soon as he saw her (from the line) the squealing began. He made it to the front and she greeted him as if she was so excited to see him. Now, I know that they are supposed to to that, but that little extra attention she gave him just made the whole day worth it. I do not know if she really remembered him or not (he still had the bear, so I am guessing she really may have). It did not matter, DC believed that she did and that is all that mattered.

 

You will never find a happier guy!

I did not purchase tickets for Sunday because they were too expensive (Sam, Dean and John, their “father” were appearing on Sunday only) but I decided to buy tickets to the concert on Saturday night, thinking that if they were flying in for Sunday appearances, maybe just maybe one or all of them would fly in on Saturday night and make an appearance at the concert.

Had I known when I bought the tickets that the doors would not even open until 10Pm, I would have never done it. I was worried that DC was not going to make it that long.

As it turned out, I am glad that I did not know and glad that I got the tickets.

In an effort to get DC in to the spirit of the thing, I told him that “sometimes” Zack and Cody’s mother, who DC now refers to as  “Kim”,  sang at these concerts. I knew that to be usually true, but I also knew that I was taking a big risk in telling him so.

We thought we were already losing him while waiting in line but we got him to hold on until we made it inside and sat down. By just a few songs in, he was showing signs of being “done” and no longer paying any attention. He did not notice that she had just come out to the stage.

“DC, look who it is!”

He jumped up out of his seat when he realized. He kept pointing at her as if I did not know she was there.

He danced and clapped for the rest of the concert.

At one point, she jumped off the stage and ran through the audience, DC was in the aisle and no, I was not ready with my camera. She ran right by him. (He was thrilled just to see her up close again). But then she stopped, turned around and started back toward him waving. He LOVED IT! She couldn’t come all of the way back to him, but he knew that she noticed him and the wave was for him and him only!

Just that little bit of extra attention made all the difference to DC.

Kim Rhodes has been added to my list of heroes (or as DC would say “Here- eee- Ohs”)

*****

As for the rest…. DC and I had a good time (Doug not so much)

I have only ever gotten to sit in on two panels/Q&A’s before – Once Upon a Time at NYComiccon where DC fell asleep on me (and when I say “on” me, I mean that literally) and the “Revamping of Fairy Tales for TV Trend” discussion at Shore Leave, where DC not only fell asleep on me but did it in the front row.

We actually got to see the Costume Contest (I apologize for the photo quality; I did not think to bring my real camera)

The Mark Sheppard Q&A:

 

 

and The Misha Collins Q&A:

DC did not fall asleep during any of them (I cannot say the same for Doug)

The rest of the concert was fun (even Doug liked it). I was correct. One of the Sunday only guests, Jensen Ackles made an appearance at the Saturday Night Special.

(A very short clip)

 

Another favorite part of the day happened while standing in line for DC to have his picture taken with Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins. The woman in front of me, carrying a binder; obviously much more organized about this than I was, turned to me and said, “I am 47 years old and I have saved up for 12 years to do this.” – She bought the whole weekend Gold package (Knowing how expensive our single day was, I can see how one would have to save for 12 years.), but if she was going to get to do this, she was going to do it right! We chatted a bit while in line and it seemed as if she was having a great time and it was all worth it! I am glad. Sometimes when you look forward to something for such a long time, you end up being disappointed by the reality of it.

This did not seem to be the case for her and it certainly was not the case for DC.

It made me smile.

****

Update: Just when you think she could not be any more wonderful:

 

 

 

***

For those who know how much I loathe “Inspiration Porn”, let me explain the difference  one. more. time.

“I” posted the story because “I” always try to thank anyone that goes out of their way for my child, as I would assume most people would do for their children. I just happen to have a medium to do so. There are some people in this world that deserve to be thanked and Kim is one of them.

For further explanation regarding “Inspiration Porn” – please read a past post: Let’s Talk About Inspiration Porn  

(and yes, I just now realized that I gave this post almost the same title – Seriously… All of my posts are not Titled “Let’s Talk About…” 🙂 )