Most of our followers know that we have a very adorable, and chronically ill little boy named Lucas. The Make A Wish foundation granted him a very special wish, and it all came true rather quickly. After just over a month of being accepted, here we are at Give Kids The World village in Kissimmee, Florida.
Sunday was our “low key” travel day. A giant stretch limousine scooped us up at 9am, right from our front door. We decided to bring our own carseats, and as much of a pain in the @$$ it was to lug them around, I’m so glad we have them. Our kids are very particular, and comfort is our main priority. My poor, patient, kind, and generous husband had his 44th birthday yesterday. I’m sure it didn’t feel like much of one, but this week is also our 5th anniversary. What better place to spend it in?
We assumed the flight would be difficult for Lucas, and it wasn’t too bad for him. Our perfect little 9 month old had a very hard day. Skipped her nap, at everything we had available in our carryon, and still wasn’t satisfied. She just wanted to be held. We got through it!
After we got off the plane, and hopped onto the tram to head towards baggage claim, things started to feel very surreal. Then we saw Claire, the woman who held up a big sign that said “LUCAS KELLEY”, and then I think I shed a few tears. Lucas ran right past her and into the airport lobby, and yelled “Look, there’s real palm trees like the ones in my toy box”. This kid is just amazing. It’s very VERY hard to keep Lucas with us while on foot. We are new to the Autism realm, and we are learning that we have quite the wanderer on our hands. Not only does he wander, but he is very assertive and pleasantly defiant. THIS IS HIS TRIP. We just have to keep telling ourselves that. Over, and over again. We gotta keep him happy. We can’t worry about the small stuff here. It is what it is. The bigger picture is making a lifetime of memories this week.
How many chances do children get to head into the cockpit of a plane, and touch all the buttons they can reach? Not many. Thank you to Southwest Airlines. You guys were so positive while we were so stressed, and it meant the world to us! If it weren’t for you, this kid would have wandered off the plane and into the airport while we were still trying to gather our belongings! He’s fast, and he’s smart. He knows exactly what he wants in life, and has no problem trying to achieve these things!
When we arrived at GKTW, we were exhausted. Stressed out is a nice way to put it. However, when we walked into The House of Hearts, our moods instantly changed. The vibe upon entering this magical village is quite powerful. You can’t help but smile. Everything was prepared for us. They offered to do our check-in, in our villa. Lucas and I hopped onto a golf cart, and Chris followed behind in the mini-van with the girls, as Joanna was finally fast asleep.
Our villa is ADORABLE, and right across the street from a LUCAS SAFE playground. Which just brings me to tears. Playgrounds are something we can’t frequent back home. Watching our boy enjoy every moment, is a true blessing. This isn’t a hotel, it’s a community for sick children. It’s so safe, and the staff is truly incredible. 1,700 volunteers are scheduled to help run the place this week alone. They are here because they want to be. Every day there are different activities, and all sorts of entertainment. This village is like a theme park itself.
Lucas was so thrilled to go to a party and meet the Mayor, and his wife…
The mayor should watch out, because Lucas may steal his lady. We can request that the kids get tucked in by the bunnies!! That should be fun. I wonder what their thoughts are on co-sleeping, and extended breastfeeding? Eh, let’s not get carried away, we shall save that for another blog entry. After the party, we got Lucas a late night ice cream treat, then he got all cleaned up, and was ready for bed.
Bed? What’s that? Lucas woke up at 3am, and asked to go for a walk. What could I say? He must be anxious. It’s a new place, and he’s unsure of everything. It’s a special trip. So we stayed up for 3 hours, walking around the village. It was COLD. Luckily, they have hats and blankets. Oh, and that House of Hearts I was telling you about… it’s open 24 hours. They have an amazing play room with books, movies, legos, and all sorts of other toys, and activities. I was able to get him back to bed by about 6am.
THIS KID. . . Give Lucas The World – Day 1 – Success.