A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Questionable Coffee, Fort Sumter and an Aircraft Carrier

I am sitting in my mostly darkened hotel room while half the family sleeps. I'm up writing and enjoying some really vile coffee. Enjoying is a really loose term. I've offered to share it with the twins and after the first drink they're looking at me like I'm a loon. WHY WOULD WE WANT THAT VILE WOMAN they seem to be saying. I don't blame them. It's not good at all.
Yesterday was another roller coaster of chaos in the land that is autism parenting. Some days we're just not good at this.
We started out our morning taking the ferry to Fort Sumter.
I've always wanted to see Fort Sumter, and today (we were there yesterday) is the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. It seems meaningful to be here now. I would've liked to have gone today except then I think about yesterday's chaos and then add in more people no nevermind I will pass.
The oldest boy was here four years ago with the Boy Scouts. He got to participate in the Flag Raising which I wish had gotten to see, that's the stuff that makes mothers proud you know. But he got to show me all the things he has told me about since he was here.
And he got to show me things he missed before - like this shell still stuck in the old fort's wall. There are a few, which is fairly awesome to think these have been there 150+ years. The girl found a cannon just her size she declared, and stood behind pretending to fire it yelling BOOM BOOM BOOM!
One of our best moments of the fort came from our little family terrorist Miles, who stopped to read one of the placards. He read more than either of us realized he was able to. Was he reading with comprehension? Well I hope so because he understands \English - so it was kind of fun, he read us the first full sentence on his own with very little help and a bit more. At 10 that might not seem like a lot, but for our little guys that was major. Charlie couldn't come closed to it.
It was beautiful at Fort Sumter. I really am glad I've seen it now. And even if the twins don't ever really understand it I'm glad we saw it too. It was really lovely for an old fort.
One of my favorite artifacts inside was the large Union flag that was raised as the screw you to the secessionists back in Charleston. It made me laugh, that takes balls knowing you're alone and outnumbered and still standing tall. It's worn but it's still a great flag.
It would've probably been an ok day if we'd have stopped at that point but we had a full day ahead of us....next up was the USS Yorktown.
The USS Yorktown is the biggest thing I've ever seen on water and I cannot get my mind around the fact that modern carriers are way way bigger. I don't even know how that's POSSIBLE frankly. 
Louis and his dad once spent three days on this ship with the Boy Scouts so this was their opportunity to show us around. I have to admit, It was pretty damn impressive. 
Being in the hangar was hard to keep it straight that you were on a ship. There were just tons of airplanes, a diner, a museum, so many things and it just seems like a big building instead of a ship.
I mean how big is it? The snackbar/diner has an airplane hanging over it. A FULL SIZED AIRPLANE. 
Miles had decided before we got on the ship that he wasn't having it. So it was again another day of up and down with autism. This time the tantrums were a bit worse and the happy times were shorter which made for stress for us all. I'm not really sure if it was because he was out of his element, if he simply hates airplanes and or ships, or it was some other thing we don't understand but he was REALLY mad at us about halfway through exploring the ship.
These creepy mannequins kept scaring us, they've be randomly positioned in crew areas and when you didn't expect it BAM mannequin. 
And obviously I took this picture because ....HIIIIIWAAAYYY TO THE DAAANGER ZOOOONE. It was a moral imperative.

The flight deck was also amazing - and it was up there that Miles really decided to start showing us how done with all of this shit he was.
There he goes, stomping off away from the rest of us in protest. Thank God the flight deck has fences around it for us mortals, I was worried a bit being up there during this tantrum but it wasn't too bad. 
Julia drove the ship for a bit. Her exact words were, "Oh I'd LOVE to drive the ship THANK YOU!" Such a lady. 
Ice cream snack time gave us another break from tantrum. I feel like I may have set a record for most diapers changed on the USS Yorktown. YAY ME! 
One of Louis' favorite parts of the tour is the recipe for 10k cookies that they have posted. Can you imagine? It's pretty hilarious. And only one quart of water! What a tedious pain the butt job.

I really enjoyed Fort Sumter and the Yorktown despite the crazy of autism trying to jerk us around. Miles spent his day in and out of tantrum for no reason. It was heartbreaking and stressful and hard and well, annoying. The ships photographer captured a perfect tantrum. It was so bad they gave us the picture for free.
That picture is a perfect summary of our lives.Louis and Julia and I are just going on trying to smile, Charlie is staring at him like WHATS WRONG DUDE and my poor husband is exasperated. This is who we are most days when the cameras aren't rolling. 

It was a good day but a hard day. There were things to enjoy, lots of laughter and smiles but more tantrums. I hope autism gives it a break today.