My emotions have been up and down thinking about going back to the water parks. When Jonathan was younger (before he started Kind) my family and I would go to an indoor water park every few months. We all had a fantastic time and when I became pregnant with Thomas I was excited about bringing him with us on our trips. As the years have gone by(since Jonathan has been born) more indoor water parks have been built ( Kalahari, great wolf, castaway bay ) along with Cedar Point having a very nice outdoor water park, soak city. So, within an hour drive of where we live we have some pretty great choices of what kind of water fun we want to have. Our last trip to Kalahari was last summer...we did not go anywhere this past winter, which is very unusual. No one had said anything to me but I think they knew why I hadn't planned anything for us. The time I had been silently dreading had come this past weekend. My Mom and hubby both mentioned going to wild water kingdom (geauga lake has closed but they kept their water park open). It was a great idea (it is VERY hot here) and we had nothing planned for this past Sunday. So I had agreed and I started packing our swim stuff Saturday night. I looked all over for our otter box and I couldn't find it. I knew it would be too small for 2ci's but I wanted to at least take 1 with us around to the different rides so I could pop it on and explain to Thomas why we were leaving 1 area and going to the next. The new otter box I had ordered last week hadn't come in yet so I was screwed. I would have to leave Thomas' CI's in their case by our seats. When I was talking with my Mom Saturday night she said to me "it's ashame that Thomas won't be able to hear all the noise, music and water rushing around him"...I said "yep" and I changed the subject. I wanted to say "REALLY? it will be ashame? Don't you think that this what I have been thinking about for the past 2yrs? Do you realize that this is why we haven't done anything pertaining to water (besides baths, of course) for the past 2yrs?...But I didn't say it. I kept it inside and didn't want to start yelling at my Mom. She didn't deserve it...she didn't even realize what I was thinking. Of course, when I got off the phone I cried like a baby thinking of all the sounds he was going to miss. But, I got ahold of myself and finished packing all of the snacks and suits for the next day. Sunday morning we woke up, fed Thomas breakfast and left for WWK. We stopped at Mc'D's so Jonathan and my Mom could eat and we were at the park by 1045am. We kept asking Thomas if he wanted to go swimming and he would say "yeah" and nod his head up and down. We would ask him if he wanted to jump in the water and he gave us a BIG "YEAH". I knew he would love the water because he loves to take baths...he tries to jump and swim and go under the water and he hates to get out. When we walked in and got to our space under the canopy Thomas sat in his stroller very wide eyed trying to take it all in. He climbed out, got his swim diaper, sun block and swim trunks on and he was ready to go in. He was sitting on my lap and I told him "Thomas, if you want to go in the water you have to take your ears off. Like when we go for bike rides. You can't wear your ears". He looked up at me and flicked off his right CI (the other one is pinned to his shirt) and gave me a big smile. I knew he was ready...was I? We spent some time in the kiddie area. They have a few slides and Thomas LOVED them. I can't tell you how many times Dad and I went up and down the steps with Thomas. We than headed over to the wave pool. Thomas did not care too much for this because he had to wear a life jacket (which at first the lifeguard said we could put over his body glove float suit). After we took his suit off and put his swim trunks back on (don't worry...the swim diaper stayed on the entire time...lol) he was a bit happier with the life jacket. He especially loved when the waves came crashing against the back of his legs. Every time a wave would roll in he would yell "WHOA"..."WHOA"..."WHOA" and would try to keep standing straight (the water was rolling in fast). It was pretty cute. I can't tell you how many people came up to us and commented on how cute he was and how cute he was talking. Most of them would crouch down and say something to Thomas and he would look up and wave and say "HI". Not one of them knew he was deaf. That he couldn't hear an ounce of what they were saying. By the time we hit the lazy river Thomas was pretty restless. I was losing patience because I couldn't communicate with him to tell him that we were NOT going home...we were going to another ride (I am very limited in my signing abilities). By the time we got to the basketball pool he was ticked off because the kids were playing basketball and they wouldn't share the ball with him. He kept whining and screaming...I handed him to my Mom and I swam away. I looked back and my Mom was taking Thomas out of the pool and walking with him. He kept looking back and crying for me. I felt like a horrible Mother...but I knew we both needed a time out!!! A few minutes later Jonathan, myself and Dad went back to our lounge chairs to find Thomas sleeping!!!! He had completely wore himself out. I wanted to climb right next to him and fall asleep too! We let him sleep while the rest of us took turns going to change and when we woke him up we were ready to leave. Halfway through our afternoon we stopped to eat. While Thomas was sitting waiting for his food Dad slipped his right CI on. For the next 30 seconds or so Thomas just sat there, he didn't say anything. He sat on his lounge chair looking around. I sat across from him thinking to myself "I wonder what he is thinking? Is he wondering why he can't hear this without this thing attached to his head? Is he wondering why we don't have this stuff? Or is he thinking "wow, i am thankful I CAN hear this...because without the CI, I could never hear ANY of this!" I am hoping his thoughts will be closer to last thought. I want to raise Thomas to be a confident, strong, intellectual person who is thankful for what he has...and not upset about what he doesn't have. On another note...our otter box came in today. A day too late but it will definitely be used (alot) this summer. Now that I have jumped over the hurdle that I had been dreading for so long the journey ahead doesn't seem as hard as I thought it would be.
Thomas sitting assessing the situation. Thinking about what he wants to conquer first!
If you look at the orange baby slides (not the big tubular slide) that is where Thomas spent ALOT of time!!!