Zak and I sat on the beach yesterday and talked about the amazing opportunities our family has experienced because of autism. Not only have we been stretched (in good ways, mostly) as parents, but autism has given our family the chance to see so much goodness in others. Between Disneyland (which still brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it), Jakson's therapists, Elijah's Retreat, autism friendly movie showings and festivals, we have encountered some of the best, most compassionate people.
As I stood in the waves, watching Jakson surf, and talking to one of the co-founders of Waves of Impact, a feeling of gratitude overcame me. People are amazing.
Waves of Impact travels to several beaches in the U.S. providing "surf lessons" to children with autism (and their siblings) at no cost. All of the instructors are volunteers and, judging by the ones we met yesterday, are incredibly patient and kind towards the children they are working with. They might also be magic since Storey cries at the drop of a hat and at one point during her lesson flipped off the surfboard, landed face first in the water, was placed back on the board by her instructor (Corbin), and just kept going. MAGIC, I tell you.
Jakson didn't want to go at first (he was afraid surfing was dangerous, sharks would eat him, etc) but after a few YouTube videos and seeing pictures of other kids from his school that have attended in the past, he agreed that it might be fun. On the way home from Galveston, he asked if he can have surfing lessons, so I'd say it was a success (even if he looks grumpy in the picture below, he was just REALLY cold).