As a mother of a son with autism, I have tried hard over the years to show my son everything that this life has to offer him. I always wanted to be sure he got to experience every single thing that our oldest son did. But as you might guess, that’s not been easy.
By some strange coincidence, a dear friend happened to reach out to me to see if we would like to go to the Air Show. I responded honestly by saying, “We would love to give it a try, but I just never know how long Jac might tolerate it. Especially with the sounds of flying planes and the fake bombings as they act out the various war scenes.”
There were no strings attached. No cost for us. It was a come and go event. So we could go at our own leisure. My husband and I loaded up our 18-year-old son who has autism into the car and we headed off.
My husband was already complaining how this was sure to be another one of those failed attempts to make our family seem normal. As we pulled into the parking area, our son was already talking a mile a minute about the helicopter and the old airplanes parked outside.
We walked into the airplane hangar and my son came to life. It was as if a whole new world had suddenly been opened just for him. I have never seen him so excited, ever. He somehow knew what an airplane hangar was, he somehow knew that he wanted to be a pilot and he began informing strangers that these planes were his private jets.
It was priceless. He was able to climb into a cockpit of one of the planes and he proceeded to tell us how he was going to get this plane off the ground somehow and he would figure out how to land it by pressing the buttons.
This child of mine used words I never heard him use before and suddenly seemed to be quite the expert regarding airplanes. As well as everything involving private jets. He was truly fascinated.
We stayed at the Air Show for two hours, watching airplanes fly. But more importantly, we spent two hours being a family without boundaries and without limits. We were a family who ate funnel cakes, drank lemonade and enjoyed life at it’s fullest.
My oldest son said it best at the end of our trip, “Mom, today autism didn’t win. The Curtis Family won.” Yes, indeed we did!!
Leslie has shared many experiences about Jac, enjoy her articles.