Dear Addie -
Hi, its me dad. I know mommy usually writes you, but with mom being out of town last week, I decided to take a turn! Trust me when I tell you - you are not the only one who feels out of sorts and very sad when our momma is gone. You may become SADdie, but believe it or not, I become SADdaddy. Its the truth!
Mom is amazing. Full stop.
I have NO idea how on earth she juggles everything she does, and when she is gone it just highlights how incredible she is even more. What is even more amazing is how often she does this solo. I travel so much for work and leave my love home with you guys so often, and yet she never (I mean never) complains about having to rock the single parent lifestyle and manage our chaos solo. Again, you've got one amazing mommy kiddo. So... with mommy in Michigan for GGs big 90th birthday - it was ole' dadeo trying to hold down the fort.
Now baby, if there is one thing you know about your daddy, its that I am always trying to get you and the other two yahoos to try new things. I look at our life as an adventure & view myself as your personal tour guide to trying new things. Hey, you will never know if you like something new unless you try it! Hence us having family sushi night a few weeks ago. Remember? Well, yes it may have been an epic fail, and yes there may have been a combination of tears, raw fish, seaweed, wasabi and ginger spewed across the kitchen table, but hey - the chopsticks were a hit, right? Well that's what its all about - not the disaster part, but the part about you guys learning to try something new!
So with that in mind, I decided I was going to take you guys to the Triangle Rock Club to try rock climbing. I knew Clara and Gabe would LOVE it, and thought if I could just get you over the initial hump of the concept, you would love it too. Who knows, maybe this would turn out to be a passion for you - you could be a world class rock climber in the making, right? We'll never know until we try. I mean, you LOVE to be adventurous, are amazingly strong, fearless, and love climbing things and the birds eye perspective being up high affords you. Plus the texture of the rocks themselves and the sensory feedback it would give you seems like something you would enjoy. Plus you love rocks - taste and all. It all just made sense. You are destined to be the Michael Jordan of rock climbing. I was convinced.
So we woke up early on Saturday to get ready. I asked Alexa to rock some Foo Fighters to get our hard core adventurers hyped up, and we started getting ready. "Clara, go get some good play clothes on, Gabe, you too - brush your teeth, and hair and get ready - we are going to DO THIS!"
Meanwhile, I brushed and braided your hair (I mean, I imagine all the baddest rock climbing 6 year old autistic girls sport braided hair, right?). Woh - you are not a fan of having your hair brushed, much less braided. Ok, but despite your pretty vocal objection, I prevailed - hair brushed and braided. Check. HappyAddie dressed, check. We are ready!
"Clara! Gabe! You guys ready? Come on down so we can go!"
Baby, in case you haven't figured this out yet, your siblings are whacked.
Clara comes down wearing a nice, spring/summer Hawaiian print dress, and Gabe is wearing neon green shorts and a camouflage tank top. Um. Huh?
"Dude! We are going ROCK CLIMBING, and Gabe - its like 42 degrees outside. Try again."
Two more takes and a good 20 minutes later, we got it right. Alright, much better, we were finally on our way. Hit the car (of course we drove the jeep - I mean, we are hard core - right!?) and drove the 25 minutes to the TRC. I had called them earlier in the morning to feel them out and they were awesome. Super understanding of our dynamic and totally willing to help us accommodate. I was very optimistic.
We pulled into the parking lot, and I had my final pep talk. "Okay guys, this is it. We are here, and we are ready! Clara and Gabe, its all about getting off on the right foot with Addie. So lets be patient, relaxed, and let her slowly take everything in and adjust to her surroundings inside. Patience, ok guys?"
So we got out of the car, and walked up. Opened the door, and stepped in...
One thousand one.
One thousand two.
One thousand three.
We stepped out. Nope, not going to work.
One look and you just were electrified! The colors, the sounds, the rocks, and all the people! Wow! You just wanted to run and jump and tear off all over the place - cool right? Not today. There were so many people everywhere, many of which were in free climbing technical situations. I knew right away it was a potential dangerous situation for all involved. It wasn't the right match. Not today. Someday, but not today.
So... we went to the park.
And you loved it. As did Clara and Gabe. Laughing and playing and swinging and climbing. It was perfect. Not what I planned, but why would that surprise us in the slightest?
My dear, I love you so much and especially love when you are HappyAddie, but I promise you, I will never stop trying to expose you to new things in the world. You may not be the world's greatest rock climber, but then again, you might be. We won't know until we try.
I love you -