Alligators, Sea Lions, and People, Oh My!

Where do we begin…

Saturday morning, Benjamin rolled with his first run. KC signed up for the 5k at the Alligator Festival, so he signed me up with the kids for the 1/2 mile run. I was prepared to walk along leisurely while pushing Benjamin and keeping tabs on Lennon and Isla, but the rest of the group was ready to race. When they said “go,” everyone took off including Lennon and Isla. I started running with Benjamin trying to keep up with the girls. As we approached the 1/2 way mark, Isla asked to be carried. Oh my…what to do?! I threw her on my back, and continued running while pushing Benjamin. At some point, I remember hearing, “you’ve got your hands full.” UNDERSTATEMENT. 🙂
With perfect timing, a gentleman came up behind us as I was putting Isla down, and he cheered her on the rest of the way. For their first race, I was pretty proud, and so were they. After a few hours of eating and riding fair rides, we were finally able to sit, relax, and watch football. We ended the night with Hibachi with friends, and luckily Isla slept through it since Hibachi scares her to death.

Today, we had every intention to relax. Thanks to a pair of fun neighbors, we were easily persuaded to go to the zoo. It is usually too hot here to take Benjamin to the zoo, but today it was in the 80’s, and I felt like we needed to take advantage of the cooler weather. (Sadly, this is cooler, and it’s September). The zoo was an interesting but enjoyable challenge. 1. To be authentic, many paths were made of stones. He was shook up enough to where I don’t think Benjamin will need his chest treatment this afternoon. 🙂 2. I know it’s a safety feature, but every rail was eye level. I took Benjamin out of his chair as much as possible, but usually when I did, he was so uncomfortable, he closed his eyes. We went back and forth, close to the rail then far away, to make sure he could see all the animals. 3. People will do anything to see animals, no matter how old they are. I felt like I was in a war part of the time with another elderly lady in a wheelchair, and we raced to the rail of almost every exhibit. I mean, if you don’t move for a kid who is hooked up to multiple machines, who will you move for? I don’t expect the waters to part, but a little courtesy would have been nice. 4. “What’s wrong with him?” I just never get comfortable with this statement. I always reply nicely, “nothing, he just needs some help to move and breath.” But I really want to reply with, “Nothing, what’s wrong with you?!” I will continue to fight the urge. 🙂

Benjamin really did enjoy the zoo even with the challenges mom was facing. He smiled at the sea lions and the alligators as they jumped up for food. If his eye lids were too tired, he would hold them open with his fingers. Isla would come up to Benjamin and tell him what animals they were looking at, making sure he felt included. Even though we were at the zoo during Benjamin’s usual nap time, he never fell asleep, afraid he might miss something. It was a beautiful day, and we will be returning soon, but not until after we recover from such a busy weekend. We are so blessed to have had such a wonderful weekend together as a family. We look forward to many, many more interesting and enjoyable challenges. 🙂 The challenging ones are usually the most memorable.







Miracles To Milestones Golf Tournament



Although I have had my moments of frustration and doubt, I am finally starting to visualize the playground and what a great impact it will have on our community. I know this is what God has led me to do, and I will not stop until it’s finished. (With additional plans of another similar project once this one is completed.) 🙂 I just know that this playground will not only be great for those kids with different abilities, but also for the rest of our community to learn from our amazing kiddos. There will be new connections, new friendships, and lessons of patience and love. I was not blessed with Benjamin to “cure” or “fix” him, we were blessed with him to help build a connection between ALL children and families in our community, and hope that the message will spread.
Last week, we met at the golf course, and officially finished the flyer for the tournament. Please help us get the word out, and share with your friends, family, and local businesses. Even if you can’t attend, please feel free to donate to a wonderful cause. 🙂 All our contact information is on the flyer. WE PLAY AS ONE!playground