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I keep running into people who know of our situation and are aware but not intimate with Trey’s condition.  They are continually amazed at how well he is doing.  I will not be surprised on the day when someone basically calls me a liar and says that Trey is fine.

Last week, we had the great opportunity to  head out to the Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos (or as Trey put it “Poke a Nose”).  We had gone to the one in Sandusky OH last year and loved it so we figured we’d try the one in PA this year.  On a side note it is filthy expensive but is a guaranteed good time for our family, perfect for all involved (ok, maybe not Rachel but it does provide many good pictures so…), and certainly doesn’t depend on the weather.

So, I thought you might enjoy some quick snips of Trey’s (and our) time away.

1.  On the way there at one point he yelled out…quite randomly “You’re ruining my life!!!”  We all, including Trey, laughed.  No idea where that came from.

2.  Last year he spent most of his time on the baby slides and at the very end went down a big boy slide.  He wouldn’t lay on his back, finally did, but then as he began to go he sat up.  It was horrible and he flipped, spun, clanked, and entered the water on all fours screaming and crying.

3.  In the past year he has spent hours on Rachel and my phone watching YouTube videos of water slides.

4.  Minutes after we got there he ran right up to the big boy slides, skipped all of the water cannons and buckets dumps, and got in line to slide down.  When it came time for him to slide he sat down…but wouldn’t go to his back.  He flipped out and wouldn’t go.  We then did the walk of shame back down and headed to the toddler section.

5.  What happened next was remarkable.  They have 4 different “baby” slides from a short straight slide to two winding gentle slides.  We talked and he began to practice going down on his back.  Then with his arms over his chest.  Finally, on  his back, legs straight, ankles crossed.  He was in the perfect big boy slide position.  He was ready.

6.  We then went back up the big boy slide apparatus.  This time he played with most of the water toys on the way up.  Yet, we worked our way up.  At the top we got in line, moved our way up, and boom.  He went down.  Rachel was there at the bottom and he was screaming in delight!  He maintained proper form the whole way down.  I couldn’t have been more proud at that moment.

7.  Later, he and I (at his request, errrr demand) went way up high to a two person tube slide.  The tube looks like a figure 8.  Although Trey was tall enough for the ride he would fall through the hole in the top of the 8.  Thus, he had to sit on my ankles while holding on to the handles.  As we started the slide I thought, “I’d still better hold on to his life jacket.”  As the slide dropped and we went hard around a huge bowl at the bottom he was leaning way to the side with neither hand on a handle.  Had I not been holding him he would have flipped out to catastrophic results.  He screamed in delight.  At the bottom there was a lot of current and backwash.  The life guard (they are amazing there) said to me, “Sir, can please stand up?”  Having Trey on my ankles I looked up at him helplessly and replied, “Nope, not at all.”  He sighed, blew his whistle, and pulled us to “safety” out of the way.  Not the least bit embarrassed I was able to get up, grab my son, and hold him high and share in the moment.

8.  We went down another slide that was not as twisty but much faster.  As we sped along, me behind him holding on to his jacket, I searched for a greater meaning or illustration.  His silhouette before me inside a tube I wondered what it meant, how it moved me.  “Something birth canal…ish?  Going from one plain to another?  Foreshadowing something?”  I had nothing and thought, “Shut up and enjoy the slide.”  I thought about that moment throughout the day and had the words “Chasing the Silhouette”  come to mind.  That’s as far as it went, to this day.  We’ll see if it ever means something to me.

9.  On the second (I believe) day on the slides Trey, Joe, and I were in a long line.  The ride was up 6 flights of steps or so and we were on the 4th or 5th flight and Trey yelled out, “Everyone go down, sorry we’re closed!”  Out of the mouth of babes…

10.  We went to a pizza place just outside of the entrance to the park.  It was an amazing old school brick oven family run little pizza parlor.  Within minutes, the waitress was wrapped firmly around Trey’s finger, in love with him.  I mentioned earlier that GWL is expensive?  Well, at this place we had a large pepperoni pizza, an eggplant parm entree, garlic knots (twisted dough in olive oil and covered in fresh garlic), and cheese sticks.  The bill?  $35.  I wept it was so good.  Ice cream for the kids later on at GWL was $19, Joe spilled his milk shake.  Poor kid all he said was, “Man, that’s three times (he has dropped ice cream 2 other times on vacation).”

11.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Joe and Bella.  They were awesome.  Bella, her mother’s daughter, is just not a huge fan of slides but was loving the wave pool and the other pool that they had there.  Joe was the consummate big brother and went with the flow.  He and I got to ride together a good bit (he dragged Rachel to a few rides as well) and was just a good boy.

12.  Rachel and I spoke with Joe and Bella our first morning there and explained that we wouldn’t be doing many of the other things there as we either had those things at home (bowling, miniature golf, mani/pedi cure places, etc.) or simply couldn’t/weren’t going to afford the others.  We were there to slide, swim, and play in the Chuck E. Cheese style arcade at night (you have to splurge a little).  Their response was amazing.  No whining, no complaining, just understanding.  They did not bring those other activities up again.

13.  We ended our 3 day 2 night vacation by sliding for a bit on day three (after checking out, a nice feature of GWL) and headed home.  A fast but fun filled trip.  Memories, more memories that will last a lifetime.  Rachel has the pictures to prove it.

So that’s it.  Thanks so much for checking in and staying abreast of what our life looks like.

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