This afternoon we enjoyed a sunny but slightly chilly spring day at a local Easter event. Oia's friend Celia and her family joined us along with Oia's Aunt B. There were horses to ride, a bouncy house, face painting, and of course, an Easter egg hunt. Oia loves to be in the mix of people and new experiences so things like this are right up her alley. She ends up being very quiet in these types of settings though. It seems that observing and taking it all is enough for her little self to handle at one time. She was all smiles, a few laughs, but little chatter. That's okay...I know what she's thinking.
We took Oia to the bouncy house first. It's not the most ideal situation for someone like Oia but Rob and I have NEVER prohibited her from doing something because of ability (or maybe lack thereof). One of us assumes the role of spotter, carrier, whatever it takes so that she too can enjoy what others her age are enjoying. Today it was the bouncy house. I carried Oia up to the door as the lady motioned the next round of crazies to enter. (Mind you, no parents were going in with their kids.) I kindly told the lady that I would need to enter and help my daughter once inside. She looked completely confused, said nothing in response, and I sensed she was seeking an explanation. So, I said, "She'll need my help to stand and bounce inside...(still no comment from lady)...she has cerebral palsy." Now the idea of going inside with her was okay but she tells me that Oia and I can go in the next round by ourselves. Um, NO. I told the lady that Oia should and can be in there with other kids that I just needed to be able to help her. She gave instructions to 'stay on the side' once we got in there...with the other kids. I was a little shocked by this lady's mentality. Oia ended up sitting on her knees for most of the time and enjoyed being bounced around by the other kids. Once our time was up and I crawled out, the lady said to me "That was a good idea, Mom. She did need to be in there with the other children." I replied, "Of course she did, that's how she learns."
The rest of the Easter event was uneventful in a good way. She LOVED riding the horse and even said 'Go-Go' once in the saddle. She HATED the clown and was not so sure of the Easter Bunny. She got a bunny painted on Righty and managed to pick up a few Easter eggs to fill her bag before they were all snatched up. It is such a joy for Rob and I to see Oia engaged, happy, and loving life. Her life. We are so lucky.
What better way to end a fun afternoon than with a ride back to the car on daddy's shoulders!