Max has been doing his best to convince every teacher, therapist and nurse who comes to see him every day that they need to go out to the garden with him. And how can they say no to that?
Today, he wanted to end music therapy outside. As he and Ms. Laura were outside playing and listening to nature, soaking up the sun, feeling the breeze, and smelling the roses, I thought how this is like the boy, Colin, in the book The Secret Garden. The little sick boy who has lived indoors, until he is introduced to the secret garden -- then life is new.
For so much of his life, Max is kept indoors. Therapies, school, and most of his living is done inside of two rooms in his house. We try to get him out as much as possible, but during the week he has so much going on that it is often hard to get out during the day for him to enjoy the world outside. But with his new ramp to the garden, he can enjoy the outdoors without having to travel too far off when he needs to be back for the next thing. He is able to go outside multiple times in the day just to live outside for a few minutes before being back inside. And he is loving it!
Two weeks ago, I sat in a heartbreakingly beautiful memorial service for another one of our special kids. I've talked about Jacob on this blog, and on Max's facebook page. His mom, Maria, was one of the first "supermom" friends I made. It was such a sad time to acknowledge Jacob is gone from his family's lives, but also such a sweet time to think and talk about what a great kid he was.
One thing Jacob loved to do was being outside. Max has also always asked to go outside. "I want to go somewhere, I will tell you where to take me. Okay?" is what he says with his talker. He says it at least once a day, and I know Jacob would say it too. As we have spent time in the garden, I have often thought of Jacob and how his family always tried to give him the world. And how greatly they will miss their time with him in their garden. It has encouraged me to take Max out even if it is just for a few moments when he asks.
Our special children, like Max and Jacob, teach us to not take things for granted. To feel the sun on our faces, the breeze in our hair, listen to a song bird, and smell a rose. To stop and know that life can be beautiful, even if you can only get as far as a few steps out your door.