As I have already shared getting out of the house is not easy. Billy Ray his own agenda. He thinks in sequence not the hands on a clock. If he wants to change clothes four times before he will go out the door or is confused about what is going he may go in a meltdown (everything from bouncing up and down for several minutes or throwing himself on the floor for what seems an eternity). I will surely talk about all of that later and share the things that help and the things that make it worse. For today, I just feel the urge to share our Sunday with you .
It started out with a meltdown (agitation, throwing himself on the floor and throwing other things) after I had Billy Ray ready and was trying to get myself ready. He was watching a movie in the living room. Billy Ray requires pretty much constant supervision so I had my mirror and curling iron at the breakfast bar so I could watch him and still curl my hair. All of a sudden he decided that he wanted to change and got stuck in the process. For the next half hour or so I wondered if we should just forget about today and stay home.
We made it to church. As usual Billy Ray was thrilled to see everyone and they him. We are so lucky to have this wonderful little church who have accepted us and been there for us through several crises in the short time we have been in the area. Billy Ray really enjoys the music. Our former pastor used to say he is the only one who gets to dance in church. It isn't so much a dance as he bounces up and down to the music and claps his hands. Everyone smiles at him and seems to enjoy him. That relaxes me after mornings that start out like this one. After the music he is generally (but not always) calm enough that he can sit through service. It seem to change the day around for us.
Afterwards we went to the home of Doug and Sarah. Doug works with Billy Ray on Saturdays as a support staff. I was a bit hesitant to attend this barbecue given the events earlier in the day. I knew that there were going to be professionals who work with Sarah at the local community clinic there. I wasn't sure how Billy Ray would behave or how we would be accepted.
The weather was just right and one of the Physician Assistants had brought her wonderful Golden Retriever which Billy Ray enjoyed playing fetch with and seem to calm him. We don't take his service dog to dinners since she is a bit a problem around food so it was good to have the retriever there. I think he enjoyed seeing the lab tech that he has become so familiar with and that helped too.
Billy Ray is never able to stay long periods of time at such events but he did pretty well. We left as we realized he was going to escalate. However, as we left I was thinking to myself this has been a good day after all. A pleasant time that doesn't always turn out that way for a complex child and his family. So thanks Billy Ray for allowing us to enjoy it and thanks to Doug and Sarah as well.