I guess to most people this may be a small deal. My kids went to an indoor climbing gym. To our family however, this is a HUGE deal. All the stars had to align and everyone in the world had to hold their tongue in the right position for this to occur.
At least, that is how it feels most days :).
Doing this was no small feat. For starters, I had to be able to go. Nobody would have been comfortable without me there, and I wouldn’t have been comfortable if they weren’t comfortable. It’s a confidence/safety thing. On this day I had two partially dislocated hips but I went anyway. This has been a LONG time coming, and a bit of pain (or even a lot of pain) was not going to stop me.
Secondly, we needed help. Not just as anchor point person, but just “help”. When one kid goes off on a meltdown, I can’t always “be there” because I can sometimes be rather “chair limited”. So we need someone who can be me, essentially, and go racing after one child while BJ holds on to the other.
Getting support when you have a disability isn’t as easy as you might think. I’m not, nor will I ever, go into the full details of what happened that ensured we have this support now. It’s not pretty. Suffice it to say however, that others out there are still waiting and there’s not a moment that goes by that I’m not both happy I’m no longer one of them, or that I feel incredibly guilty that I am no longer one of them.
Then BJ had to be ready. He wasn’t. His ankle was really sore. He went anyway. Bless him!
And our support worker had to be someone I could trust to hold a rope that my child was dangling from. Having such a support worker is like winning the lotto. We won the lotto with J. She was awesome.
So it was that everything aligned, and we had our first climbing session.
Nicky was a little afraid at first. He got half way up then looked down and it hit him. After a brief rest on the ground again though, he tackled it again with a fierce determination I rarely see, and conquered it.
Quinn, our little climber from the start, just took to that wall like a fish in water. Once he got the go-ahead, he was off and there was no stopping him.
Both kids had a great time. So much so, that it is now a priority for our support worker time, and I’ve ordered the boys a harness each online. It’s cheaper than renting one.
I’m not sure how BJ felt about it all. I rarely am sure of how he feels. I’m not entirely sure that he knows half the time. He just cruises with whatever. I had a blast. Watching the kids was great, but the atmosphere there was great too. The guys who own it and work there are awesome – really friendly and helpful, with zero of the condescending attitude you can sometimes find in pro’s when you’re a beginner. It was comfortable there, and cool too, with the music and the whole warehouse atmosphere thing going on. Also, we picked a time when hardly anyone else was there, so the boys had their choice of wall, and peace for their first go. Plus, indoor climbing is good for muscle tone, including (perhaps especially) the fingers, so this may be a good way of toning the boys so their EDS stays away a little bit more.
Most families have their “thing” that they are really passionate about as a family. For some it’s football, for others it’s soccer. A single mum friend of mine does cheerleading with her kids. My parents had golf, even though I could never understand the attraction, so it was more their thing than a family thing. I was beginning to worry that screens would be our only family thing. Not that I mind my boys playing screens – like it or not, technology is the future. However I wanted there to be something else that meant leaving the house sometimes. Mixing with other people – in person.
As always, I am hesitant at first… But I think we may have found our “outside” family thing!!! And I am excited about that beyond belief 🙂