As long as I can remember we've done somewhat crazy things with our special needs kids, neurotypical daughter, and our dogs (Molly, then Kateva). We pushed the envelope. Public meltdowns echoing down Main Street, activated contingency plans, parental distress -- we kind of expect that . You can see those expectations in a 2010 post on our first trip to a Nordic (cross country) ski resort. Long before that outing there were bicycle rides, crazy outings, stuff I don't know how I did.
Today was in that vein. We took a lovely bike ride on a hot steamy day. There were challenges - besides the the heat our destination ice cream shop was gone, and our water supplies were inadequate. Worst of all, #2 (Aspergers) always drags in heat, and he didn't "wake up" until he'd done 2/3 of our ride. My patience was tried.
But ... that was it. There really were no big challenges. #2, once he got going, finished easily. #1 has become a strong and very safe bicyclist so he sped ahead, stopping only when he thought we might need his uncanny sense of direction to navigate a tricky area. When we were done #1 remembered a sports bar with an outdoor eating area that, he assured us, Kateva would like . He remembered it because E had turned around in the parking lot one day while lost. #1 remembered the name, the location, the patio and probably much more. He does that sometimes. We had no doubt he was right; this is something he's good at. Better than any of us.
We ate together at the restaurant, which was pleased to have Kateva on the outdoor patio. The food was excellent - though Kateva preferred #3's hamburger and #2's meatball to my walleye. When we got home #1did most of the work putting gear away and getting the van in order -- a job that intimidates E. It never occurred to me to ask him, he just did it. Did it well.
We have come a long way. The very bad times, times that predate this blog, are becoming distant, faded memories. I'm glad of that, I'll keep the good memories.
- fn -
 I expect scornful stares from strangers too, but I don't notice all that many. It's true I don't pay much attention to bystanders, and I'm kind of obtuse, but, even so, it doesn't happen as often as I expected years ago. I think that has something to do with current urban Minnesota culture; most adults know somebody with a special needs child.
 She came along too of course. She ran a bit, but on such a hot day she largely rode in a purpose built dog trailer.