A Moment Of Gratitude While At The Thomas and Friends Show

This is a post in the weekly Autism Hopes series by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez, a mom who blogs  over at AutismWonderland.

Last Sunday, we took Norrin to see the Holiday Train Show at The New York Botanical Garden. Our tickets included a chance to see the Thomas and Friends show. Norrin is a huge Thomas the Train fan. We talked about going. I showed him pictures. But still I was nervous taking him.

I will never forget the first time we took Norrin to a kid friendly live performance show. It was almost six years ago, around the time when he was being evaluated for autism. I thought Norrin would be so excited to see The Backyardigans. He wasn’t. It was a disaster. The longest ninety minutes of my life.

A few years later when we went to Disney World, we took him to see Jake and The Neverland Pirates (another favorite of his). After a few minutes, we had to leave. And the last few times we’ve gone to Sesame Place, Norrin has had no interest in watching the parade or seeing the shows.

But since we’ve had recent success with the movies, I wanted to give a live performance show another shot.

We knew that seating at the Thomas show was first come, first serve. We arrived early enough to be first in line. I was proud at how patiently he waited. The staff was friendly and patient. I loved that they handed out crayons and coloring pages to keep the kids busy while they waited. When it time to sit inside, I could tell Norrin was excited. He was smiling and fidgeting with eager anticipation. And when Thomas finally appeared – Norrin’s smile was priceless. He was star struck. He even sang along, clapped and answered questions.

Norrin with his dad watching The Thomas the Train Show

Looking around the small auditorium, I noticed Norrin was the only “big kid” in the room. Most of the kids were between three and four years old. Norrin will be eight in a few days. And I didn’t care in the least. Norrin was happy. I didn’t think to bring his noise canceling headphones and it was a little loud for him. But he sat through it.

Five years ago, I couldn’t see us sitting at a live performance show. I couldn’t see Norrin singing or clapping or getting caught up in an imaginary world. And it’s a reminder of how far Norrin’s come in the last few years.

Norrin still has challenges with many things. And at times, I feel like we’re at a stand still. But taking note of his progress reminds me progress is always possible. And I am grateful for these little milestones. They are often the things that keep me going.

What little milestones have you celebrated lately?

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