Today I am thankful for a stranger. A gentlemen whose name I will never know but broke the rules and allowed Gabe to have fun. Fun that I firmly believe, every child despite their abilities should be able to participate in.
Let me digress. Gabe loves slides. When we lived in Houston we were at the park multiple times a week, if not daily, to climb up the climber and slide down the slide. His love for slides hasn't changed despite the fact he's not on one everyday.
Enter the Fish Festival. There were quite a few activities for kids to do on Sunday when we were there but not many Gabe could actively participate in. He wasn't interested in winning prizes and honestly, his motor skills probably would negate any prize except for the obligatory consolation prize. And we do not need any more junk in this house! Gabe became interested in one of those large trampolines to jump on but upon hearing the hydraulics that allow the child to jump higher, I knew that would not sit well with Gabe.
Then we saw the slide. He'd done a slide like that at the Cuyahoga County Fair almost 2 years ago and had loved the large slide at the I-X Indoor Amusement Park this past winter so I figured he'd like it. We walked over and then I saw the sign. The sign that said only people that could climb up the stairs themselves would be allowed to slide down. I felt like I was sucker punched. Gabe can climb stairs; sturdy stairs at home but I couldn't imagine him being able to make it up the bounce house type steps that led to the top of the slide.
I nudged Matt and asked him to go talk to the man running the slide. I have no idea what Matt said to him but the result was this:
1st time down the slide:
Smile after 1st time:
2nd time down the slide:
3rd time down the slide:
I didn't get his name but I will always be thankful that Gabe was given the opportunity to be just like every other child at the festival; time just to be a kid!