Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Friday, 19 January 2018

A Leap of Faith

I’m hoping to blog more this year. Considering I only blogged 3 times last year, shouldn’t be all that difficult to beat that number.

In just over a week, G, Riley and I are going on a cruise with 3 other couples to celebrate some upcoming 60th birthdays. No…not mine. 😒

This will be Riley World’s third cruise. After our trip home from the last cruise...we did not want to relive the trauma and were able to book direct; non-stop flights both ways. 

A few things about cruising:
  • Did you know they do not like you to cook in your stateroom? 
  • Did you know that if you take any cooking apparatus (ie hot pots) on board they could get confiscated until the end of the trip?
  • Did you know that their screening for said pots is not 100% accurate?  How do I know this?? Two years ago, being the seasoned autism parent, I packed 2 hot pots in 2 separate suitcases. Long story but one made it through, the other did not. If only I could remember which one made it through.  

This time, we are going on a Royal Caribbean ship: the first autism friendly cruise line. While we have had nothing but positive experiences in the past, I am curious to see what other types of accommodations there might be since previously, staff/crew have always gone above and beyond. Well…except for the cooking in the stateroom part. Trust me, I understand why you’re not supposed to. Really. I get it. But still…  😉

A couple of months ago as I was researching our ship, I noticed they had a Japanese restaurant on board that served udon. That's right...UDON!  Riley eats udon!!  Riley LOVES udon!!!  I may not be able to cook his noodles in our room but we could go eat his “udon with no seasoning” multiple times a day!!  

Here’s where the Leap of Faith comes in.

After many inquiries and reassurances that the crew will do their best to accommodate R’s ummmmm dietary needs…I have decided *gulp* not to pack a hot pot for the FIRST TIME EVER! *gasp* 

We are going to eat all our meals outside of our stateroom. *starts to feel short of breath* 

We can DO THIS right???  RIGHT????  *begins coping strategies* 

I…I…I’m okay with eating Japanese multiple times a day for 7 days.

Sure am glad we bought the “beverage package”. 


Sunday, 5 March 2017


Hard to believe it’s already been a year since Riley participated in his first March Madness weekend basketball tournament!  Say whaaaaaaattttt????

In case you didn’t realize that if you click on the red letters, you can read all about his first experience. Here…here’s a second chance.  Go ahead…click on these red letters. I’ll wait. *starts whistling*

So…wasn’t that inspiring??  Do you need some Kleenex??  Here…*passes tissues*

This year was different. Why?  Because it wasn’t our first time. First times in Riley World can be so, SO hard. 

This year we knew what to expect. We did not arrive 3 hours early. Instead, G went early to pick up R’s uniform and we arrived in time for the opening ceremonies. We still had to wait for R’s first game but this year it was manageable. 

This year there was progress. We love seeing progress in Riley World. Riley followed instructions from his coaches.

They told him where he should be standing. And that is where he stood. Whether there were other players around or not. He stood where he was told.

They told him to keep his arms up. And that is what he did. Whether the play was behind him, in front of him or at the other end of the court. He kept his arms up.

This year Riley even touched the ball. About 10 times!!  That's over 500% more than last year!  Sure a couple of times the ball glanced off his raised arms but I am totally calling that a 'touch'. Okay and maybe the one time he was supposed to throw the ball inbounds he was quite agitated and just chucked the ball halfway down the court to absolutely no one. Yikes. But, they let him try again and this time he threw it to his team mate. Go Riley!! 

And just like last year, when someone scored, whether it was his team or the opponent…Riley clapped. He clapped with enthusiasm.

The entire weekend was filled with moments that made my heart melt, swell and just feel good. Don’t get me wrong. There was competition and at the highest level. Athletes of all levels came to play and to compete. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced player…they were all together supporting each other in the true spirit of sportsmanship.  

And that is the beauty of Special Olympics.