The day finally arrived for the field trip. I had many worries about this trip. It was going to be an early morning. It was going to be a long day. It was going to involve a lot of walking. It may bring about questions about Cade and DMD that I may not be able to answer.
We sent Cade to bed last night and I should have started getting ready right away myself. Instead my mind began to wander and I began to question whether this was the best choice. And next thing I knew the alarm was going off after a restless night of sleep.
I brought Cade downstairs with me at 5:30 this morning and let him sleep while I was getting ready to go. I waited until 6:10 before I made him wake up fully to get dressed. And then we were on our way to the school to catch the bus.
Cade did really well on the bus ride and had a great time with his friends. My anxiety grew as we came closer to our destination. We pulled up to Memorial Stadium and got off the bus…and pulled out the wheelchair.
I worried if Cade would want to ride in it or if he would be embarrassed by it but he handled it like a champ. We toured the facility and he wanted his friends to help push him. They happily agreed!!
His friend even pushed him while running across the field! Then came Morrill Hall. Again it amazes me that no one was concerned that our group didn’t get to enter the building like everyone else. Everyone just did their thing and had a great time.
Lunch was next. Cade was definitely hungry and ready for it. Sometimes when he needs food he gets a little grumpy but today he did great. He ate all his food but saved one banana for later.
Then the last stop was the Capital Building. We even got to go in on the legislative floor and there were a few steps to get down there. People just pitched in and lifted him in the chair down and he joined his class.
It was a really great experience. Cade was extremely tired but still had such a great attitude!
But onto the mention of another first. This was our first field trip since diagnosis. This would also be our first major usage of a wheelchair.
And most importantly, this was our first time navigating a world be retrofitted to be handicap accessible. I saw all the provisions through a new set of eyes. I have a new perspective on this and a new place where I can be a better advocate for Cade and others who need special assistance.
It isn’t until you truly experience this need that you realize how much more could be done. While the provisions already made are wonderful and made it so that Cade could go on this field trip, I realized today how I can best serve my son, my community, and God. I can speak up for ones that need help speaking up for themselves.
The best thing anyone can do to help is to do the small things. Pay attention to your surroundings. Offer to hold the door for someone. Offer to carry a bag or box up the stairs. Just be aware that some things could be more difficult for some people. And if you need an example of what I am talking about, I know a great group of 4th grade kids that show exactly how they are already living this.