I had hope to walk with the girls but Amanda was resistant to walking. And seeing as how we were there to honor her in a way, I decided that taking her around all the fun things would be cool too.....
First was a bouncy house obstacle course. Tessa had a blast. Amanda had difficulty since it was a climbing wall. She made it up one with Tessa but the second one was too much for her to face. So off we went to another bouncy that had soccer balls to toss threw holes.
Then both girls got to hold a snake! Proud mommy moment there since the little boys were refusing to hold them and up walked both my girly-girls who instantly held the snake.
Then came pony rides. Tessa had been wanting to ride a pony for some time now and had not had an opportunity. Last year, Amanda had a paralyzing fear of horses. She had a full-blown panic attack in the car when we stopped at the Goddard Park Stables to set up an appointment for Tessa.
So we waited in line for the pony rides because Amanda wanted to ride a pony too. Amanda got as far as sitting on the horse for a bit. The folks were great as they are used to kiddos with Autism and their fears. She sat long enough for me to get this picture:
Here is a link to the video as it will not allow it to be embedded due to the music playing:
There was face painting which thrilled the girls to no end......
It was nice to be surrounded by so many people who are there with you. No one minded any yelling or meltdowns. No strange looks at flapping children. A teen-aged boy dancing through the bubbles? Good for him!!!! It was lovely and fully accepting.
The only sad part was to see how many families are touched by Autism. And it hurt to see the older adults as well. But there was hope. And that hope was so tangible that it brought tears to my eyes and pain in my heart.
All in all, it was a wonderful day. I really hope that we can go next year. I would love to raise money for Project Autism of RI and actually get to walk in Amanda's honor. Maybe get a team together too. That would be great!!! Anyone interested???