How a Trip to the Carousel Taught this Special Needs Mom a Profound Life Lesson

Claire Smyth by Claire Smyth Additional Needs

Claire Smyth

Claire Smyth

One of the toughest of her special needs to deal with is her occasional aggressive outbursts.

We just never know when they will happen.

She can go along for months, happy as a clam and KABOOM...

Out of the blue and with no warning, another one strikes.

Even, though outings with Bethany can be difficult, my husband and I have vowed never to allow fear of a possible meltdown be a reason to isolate her away from society.

However, needless to say, we've learned to be hyper-vigilant and always on high alert, watching for any impeding signs of a meltdown about to happen.

Bethany loves riding carousels.

We are blessed to have a free carousel nearby.

Every spring and summer, Bethany loves riding that carousel over and over as many times as she wants.

She doesn't even have to get off and back in line again in between rides!

It's awesome!!

It's a special needs parents' dream carousel!

But sadly, every year, this carousel makes its last run on Labor Day.

So what's a special needs mom and dad to do when their precious daughter wants to ride a carousel in the winter?

They drive her 60 miles to the only place they can think of that has a carousel operating all year round.

They load her up in the car for the 90 minute drive to a very large, very noisy, and very crowded mall that has the only carousel open all year round!

However, all the way there, mommy worries.

After arriving at our destination, mommy worried that Bethany might get mad about something, then get hit by a car while navigating through the parking lot.

Once everyone was safely inside the mall, mommy worried that Bethany wouldn't want to wait in line for her first ride on the carousel.

After Bethany waited patiently in line and was happily riding the carousel, mommy worried that she wouldn't cooperate when it was time to get off.

Once Bethany cooperated beautifully with getting off her horse, mommy worried that she would have a meltdown if she had to wait in line again for her next ride.

Of course, all the while mommy was preoccupied with worrying about every possible thing that might go wrong, she was filming this very special occasion.

After joyfully riding the carousel several times Bethany was content and ready to go home.

Once we all made it safely back home without so much as even a hint of a meltdown, mommy watched the videos she took of Bethany riding the carousel.

Mommy's heart melted with joy, at seeing Bethany so happy and cooperating so nicely while riding the carousel.

At this point, mommy also realized that she had spent so much time worrying about every little thing that could have gone wrong that she never actually enjoyed the special, happy moments while they were happening.

Mommy vowed to stop worrying so much about what disasters might happen.

Mommy resolved to strive to enjoy all life's sweet, happy, precious moments while they are actually happening.

Not just afterwards when she watches them on video.


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