Thursday, October 23, 2014

Symphony Field Trip...

Today was Max's first field trip for 5th grade.  He and his entire grade went to the Colorado Symphony!  It's no secret, Max's love of music.  A few weeks ago, his school music teacher asked if Max would be able to join them in this field trip.  I asked his doctor if we were clear to get out in the germs for an hour with him, and she said if we took his mask and kept his hands to himself, he should be fine.

This morning, we got a very excited and happy Max ready in his finery and headed downtown to listen to the music.

All ready, except for shoes and glasses!
We drove around the block a few times once we got downtown, trying to find a parking space for Max's van.  We finally found one pretty near to the concert hall, and ended up following his class in directly after they got there.  Good timing!

His music teacher asked if there were some friends she could call down to sit by Max in his front row handicap seating.  I thought of the handful who usually ride bikes with him.  Their names were all popping into my head too quickly, so we went with the few who came up to the top of the list.  I think he would have been ecstatic to sit beside every friend he's ever had in class.  Even though he couldn't 
sit with all his 5th grade friends, they all were great to say hello to him when he walked in.  His teacher and principal came over to say hello too.

Max with his friends from the neighborhood.
The lights started to dim, and Steve and I stayed on either side of the group, while Max sat in the middle of his friends.  I was unsure as to how he would take to the symphony,  since he much prefers opera to just classical music at home.  But, he really loved it.  We told him before we went in that this was a quiet concert, and he would have to talk and sing quietly.  He sang along a little bit.  And if he started to feel upset the music had stopped, his friends were quick to reassure him there was more coming, and they were still sitting by him. 

The Colorado Symphony warming up.

Watch how his friends direct their eyes to Max to see how he reacted to the symbols. 

Max really enjoyed the drums, but recognized all the music they played today.  When the show was over, we hurried out ahead of the herd of 5th graders, and other schools.  When we got home, Max had speech therapy and told B it was awesome, and yes, yes, he liked it! Directly after speech, he had physical therapy.  Once that was finished,  he fell asleep, and is now snoring in his chair.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

School Photos...

OFFICER MAX, 5th grade

We finally got Max's 5th grade school photo back!  The photographers who took Max's photo were incredibly patient with his blank stares and looking away from the camera. Most of his peers took about 30 seconds for a photo.  It took two photographers over 30 minutes to get Max's photo. 

When we took his glasses off, he was finally ready to smile and was happy to show off his badge from his officer friends.  He was especially adamant about getting to wear his officer badge in his school picture.  

Now...for a stroll down memory lane.  From 1st to 4th grade.  My baaaaaybeeeeee!

1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade (Max was in hospital this year for school photos)

4th Grade

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Cross Country Max...

Max finished his week with another race to run.  Again, Super Daddy tried to keep up with Max's super speed.  Steve likes to tell the kids he runs behind Max to make sure he's got someone there at the finish line...he just hopes he can keep up with how fast Max goes. 

This race was the district wide elementary school cross country meet.  It had rained all day and night the day before, and I wasn't so sure Max was going to be able to make it.  But, the skies cleared just long enough for Max to join in the fun. 

Max's race was for the special needs kids in the district.  There were a few wheelchair racers, and the rest were all levels of physical capability.  Max's PE teacher organized the meet, and asked if Max would like to come along and join in the fun as part of the group from his elementary school. 

The whole meet came to a halt for this special race.  All the athletes lined the straight course and clapped and cheered these special athletes on.  I took pictures of all the racers, and while I'm not sharing them here, because I don't know the runners or their parents to ask permission, the photos make me so happy.  What I see in every one of their faces is a feeling of being included.  They were PROUD!  They were happy.  And on every parent's face I saw what my heart was feeling. . ."you have no idea what a big deal this is."

For the kids whose gait was a little disorganized, I smiled for their parents, knowing there was a time they never knew if their child would walk...and here they are RUNNING in a RACE!  For the ones in a wheelchair, I thought, they get to be a part of the rest of the kids' activities, they are not left out here. For the kids with sensory issues, as they covered their ears at all the cheering, I joined their families in giving the sign for applause.  

We live in an incredibly inclusive town.  One I'm so grateful to be raising Max and Abbey in.  And we are realizing with each activity just how very much we're going to miss Max's elementary school next year.  Max's principal was on the side cheering him and his classmates on.  His PE teacher ran along side him the whole length of the race cheering him on.  His classmates and their parents cheered the loudest when he passed by.  I got as many photos as I could in all the excitement and cheering.  I have to take advantage of being the cheering mom when I can!  I was so proud of him!

He got a medal at the end of the race!
That muddy grass was not so great with his wheelchairs.  We're going to ask him if he enjoys running and really look into a proper running wheelchair. 
Max and his medal after the race. 

After his race, we went to the halfway point of the course to watch the 5th grade girls, and 5th grade boys race.  He helped me ring the bell and cheer on his classmates.  He liked it when we would call out his friends' names.   We left shortly after the boys finished their race, and came home where he promptly fell asleep from all the fun!