This weekend will mark a new milestone in our autism adventure. Ryne will go on a Cub Scout camping trip without a parent. It was not exactly a planned thing, but I'm grateful for how it all came about.
A few weeks ago Marc was at a den meeting with Ryne, and everyone was discussing the various camping trips planned for this fall. When asked if Ryne would be attending this weekend's trip, Marc said no because he planned on running in a 5K with Anna for a school fundraiser. The boys are old enough that they are not required to have a parent with them for camp-outs, but we feel that Ryne still needs adult supervision.
But then the most amazing thing happened. One of the boy's dad said, so matter of fact, "We're taking Ryne." I couldn't believe it when Marc told me the news, and yet I'm not surprised. Over the years I've noticed that people who meet Ryne fall into one of two groups -- the ones who get him and the ones who don't. I don't harbor ill feelings for the ones who don't get him -- autism is a difficult thing to understand. But what a blessing it is when we come across those who bond with him. Several of his therapists from his preschool years fell into that category. So did his first grade teacher, which is why it broke our heart to tell her we were pulling him out of her class. The last couple of years he's had a Sunday School teacher that adores him.
And then there is Cub Scouts. I cannot say enough about how wonderful the scouting experience has been for Ryne. Several of the boys in the den were in Ryne's class when he went to the Christian school, and he really bonded with them. I worried that as they got older they would want to distance themselves from Ryne, but that has not happened. Here are some pictures from day camp last year. Ryne is the one in the blue cap.
I haven't seen much hand-holding lately, but it is still clear that Ryne has some great friends. And the adults are just as wonderful. People go out of their way to help and include Ryne, and the dad who volunteered to watch over him this weekend is just the latest example.
So I'm asking for your prayers for this weekend. Please pray for safety (the camp is over three hours away), and that all goes well. And please pray for the D Family -- that God would bless them for this incredible act of kindness. Finally, pray that I will have peace while he is gone. I have typical mom feelings of wishing he could just stay a little boy forever. What happened to the days when he held on to my legs for dear life if I just tried to take the garbage out?