“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Accordingly, a ‘genius’ is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework.” ~Thomas Edison
If Thomas Edison were judging our performance on the field trip today, I think he would agree– we did our homework! All my preparation (and perspiration!) paid off! Or it could have just been an unbelievable coincidence, but Finn’s field trip to Storybook Land went off without a hitch!
Just before leaving for the bus this morning, Finn said, “I don’t want to take my headphones, Mommy.” I said, “Are you sure, Finny, the bus is going to get kind of loud.” He said, “I rode the bus with these kids before, I’ll be ok.” I was hesitant to let him leave without them, but I wanted to show him I believed in him, so I let him leave without them (and I packed them in my own bag… just in case.)
On my way there, I made a quick stop at WaWa for a little insurance. I needed to have the deck stacked in my favor and I wasn’t afraid to use the power of Skittles.
While waiting for the buses to arrive, I decided to forgo any expectations I had for the day. I needed to take the pressure off. If he made it in the front gate, great! If he only rode one ride, great! I wanted to focus on the positive. And clearly, the positive was that MY BOY WAS ON THE FIELD TRIP! Last year, I would’ve given anything for Finn to be on the field trip or spending as much time with the other kids as he does. His progress this year has been phenomenal and I didn’t want a measly field trip making me lose sight of that!
Despite having told Finn I was going to meet them there, he still seemed surprised to see me. He had a little trouble adjusting to the fact that I was there and refused to let me show my excitement to see him. He kept waving his finger at me and saying, “No, no, no!” Thankfully, after their immediate snack break upon entering the park, he had gotten used to the idea of my presence.
Finn was in a group with two of his favorite friends from Mrs. M’s class. Both boys have been playing with him in “Reverse Inclusion” all year (basically, they brought regular education kids to come play with Finn, so he could still learn social skills and behavior modeling). One of the boy’s Mom was the chaperone and she was fantastic. She set out the rules right from the start, “We stick together like glue and we each take a turn picking the rides.” Excellent! Clear-cut rules and we weren’t getting ditched for anything! I liked this!
Finn normally doesn’t like rides. We have had many trips to Disney in which Finn had very specific criterion: “Is it dark? Does it go fast? Does it go up and down?” If all three were “no,” then he would go on. So, we were always relegated to the baby rides. Even now, he is always willing to ride with Henry and Tallulah because bigger and faster is never Finn’s thing!
Well, NOT TODAY!
He rode almost every ride the other boys chose! Except for the “Tilt a Whirl” and the “Double Shot” (both modified for the younger set, but still too “thrilling” for Finn.”) That was ok with me. We got to sit and chat and take a few “selfies.”
Our little “round robbin” of picking the rides was working out quite nicely. The other boys weren’t picky, so we stuck together like glue! We all rode the train together. I asked Finn if I could sit with him, but he said “no,” he wanted to sit with his friend. I couldn’t have been happier!
One of the rides we saw when we previewed the park online was the Antique Cars. I was happy to see them because they are one of Finn’s favorite rides at Knoebel’s. I was also a little nervous because it’s actually one of the ONLY rides Finn goes on at Knoebel’s, but in sticking to my “attitude of gratitude,” I was going to see how it went.
We lined up to ride the antique cars and waited our turn. It’s always a pretty long wait for this type of ride because loading the passengers takes forever and then only a few cars go out at a time. The kids amused themselves in line nicely until we realized that the line was no longer moving.
The cars broke down!
Finn got a very sour look on his face and I prepared for the meltdown. He stomped his foot as everyone else turned to leave. I was fully preparing for the artful distraction and redirection, but somehow he didn’t freak out! He sniffled, dug his heels in to stay and asked, “Are we never gonna get to go on them?” I told him we would check back after lunch and he said, “Ok!”
Um, can you say miracle?
Finn rode so many new rides! That in and of itself was a miracle! The favorite, though, was probably sliding down the rabbit hole and coming out into the Queen of Hearts’ maze! They could’ve done that all day!
It was an amazing day! I have to say, I take back what I said about it being “the world’s creepiest amusement park.” Last time we were there, it was nighttime and it was freezing (during their “Christmas Fantasy with lights” event). The park is much more endearing by the light of day and with one of my favorite boys!
Just before bed, I lay with Finn and asked him, “What was your favorite part of the day?” (Fully expecting him to say the Balloon Ride because he rode it four times). He said, “Getting to be with you.”
I love that kid.