The One Where We Take Autistic Kids to See Fireworks and Live to Tell About It


July 7, 2008 by Marj Hatzell

Or, where the heck has DG been?

Between house guests, holiday celebrations and plain ole stupidity, I just haven’t had two minutes to rub together.  We had a blast with my childhood friend and her family and it was MUCH TOO SHORT.  I miss them terribly already, and it just goes to show you that if they still lived in the area and not in St. Louis, we’d still be chums for life.  Sigh.  And I have a difficult time making friends (insert hearty guffaw here if you know me IRL) so that makes it all the more bitter sweet.

Independence Day was a blast.  Between the teeny little town celebration in our hamlet to the field games to the barbecue, it was all perfect.  The kids had fun, fun, fun. Bugaboo’s therapist (and her husband and doggy) were here for several hours and it gave me a bit of a break.  We ended up inviting several neighbors to our yard (since we were all doing small barbecues) and had a blow-out of a celebration, complete with eleven kids running around the backyard while the adults chatted and occasionally yelled at a kid or two to SHUT THE GATE.   Miracle of miracles, this time Bugaboo did NOT run away, and a good time was had by all. Even the dogs. Even at eight o’clock when the party was winding down and the rain (which threatened for hours) finally hit.  That’s when the eleven kids were in my basement…

We did not brave fireworks Friday because of the threat of serious weather so Saturday evening we became awfully brave and found another local town that was setting off exploding balls of sulfur.  The kids all seemed to want to go and the neighbors and I made plans to meet there. At the lake.  With the other six thousand people that were there.  And I’m not kidding, although I’m fairly certain that there were more than six thousand people there.  Wasn’t that smart?  Bringing Bugaboo to a LAKE with SIX THOUSAND people? You know, in the dark?  We managed to appease him before the ‘works started by pushing him around the lake in the stroller. And by we I mean ME. I walked at least three miles. Our neighbors somehow managed to find us (literally a needle in a haystack) and a good time was had by all.  Although despite warnings that the large oak tree directly in front of us would obscure the majority of the fireworks, my husband and sisters insisted that our seat was FINE and the fireworks would be set off at an angle and we’d see EVERYTHING.   Ahem.  Everything behind a large oak tree. Told ya so.

Believe it or not, it was not Bugaboo or Bug Boy that had the meltdown. For the first time in their five and seven years, neither one of them had a meltdown at fireworks. And we take them every year, in the hopes that they will eventually enjoy it (or because we enjoy torturing our children. One of the two.).  And enjoy it they did!  Although the both had the hands clasped tightly (and the hands of the nearest adult) over their little ears, the looks on their faces said it all.  Bugaboo smiled and laughed and jumped up and down. Each shot was more exciting than the last.  He LOVED every minute of it, although once or twice he took off running towards the lake, trying to grab at the fireworks.  It was priceless.  Or scary because he was trying to jump into the lake and I know it.  Either one.

The rest of the weekend was spent with Darling and his very important job of building an enclosure for our trash cans (pictures to follow upon completion). We had them sitting in the backyard by the fence and he has decided (after three years of living here) that it is unsightly and hill-billy-ish to have our cans sitting out in the yard. Not to mention the fact that the ridiculously savvy squirrels in our neighborhood chew softball-sized holes in our cans and shred the trash all over the yard, which incites a riot between the dogs in town and they all go nutso in the wee hours of the morning.  Except my dog.  She barks at ’em and then runs around the tree and then gets sidetracked by the rubber chicken and then she’s all, “LOOK!  MY RUBBER CHICKEN!  I’M SO GLAD I FOUND IT!” and then she’s all, “RUBBER CHICKEN, WHO?  THERE’S A CRACKER!  OH LOOK!  A CAT!”  Yeah, doggy ADHD much?

I’m gonna need a week to sleep off the stress from the past few days, mostly because I have THIS LITTLE CONDITION, AGAIN. For crying out loud, it freaking hurts.  And did I mention, BUGABOO IS BACK IN SCHOOL!  WAAAAAHOOOOOOO!!!!!  Sorry, I’m just a little excited that after three weeks, I CAN PEE WITHOUT SOMEONE IN THE BATHROOM WITH ME.


Here’s a few shots of our weekend:

Star spangled Bugaboo

Everyone is a winner

Got Booze?

Now. To head back to sleep.  I’ve got catching up to do.

5 thoughts on “The One Where We Take Autistic Kids to See Fireworks and Live to Tell About It

  1. Anjali says:

    Sounds lovely! Rest up and feel better soon!

  2. Trace says:

    It sounds like you had an AWESOME weekend! I wish my neighborhood was more like yours (instead I have a whole lot of the over 80 crowd). The squirrels eat holes in our cans too.

  3. Fun!

    The boys are soooo cute. Sooooo cute.

    And I have to know, is that true that you don’t pee alone. That freaks me out. I cannot have kiddies if that is true.

  4. If you pour some ammonia in your trash, the dogs will leave it alone. I would think it would keep the squirrels away, too. Make sure you put it on any leftover food.

  5. The little runts are cute! And your dog’s inner monologue is hilarious.

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