Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Last Friday was a milestone in our parenting journey.  It was our third, and final, trip to NASA.  Every year our elementary school's 3rd graders make the journey to Houston and back in one day to wrap up a study of space.  Ryan and I went with both of the big boys and this year was B-man's turn.

As with everything about B-man, we had to approach NASA a bit differently.  With the other boys, we were chaperones, we had other kiddos with us all day.  We really enjoyed adding kiddos to our day and loving on them.  We knew we couldn't do that with B.  We decided that we would have just B and we would leave as soon as he was ready to go.  The day is scheduled to last until 4:30 but we didn't want to force B to that schedule. 

too excited to stand still
The trip starts at 5:30 am at the elementary school where the students load charter buses. We really wanted to let B try the bus ride.  I was super nervous about this.  B does not have a great history with bus rides.  I started picking him up at school because he couldn't handle a 5 minute bus ride across our district to my school.  So, I had no idea was a 3 + hours bus ride to Houston would be like. 

B packed a 'box of no boredom' and I sent him with his weighted blanket and weighted shark to soothe him.  With the other boys, we waited for the buses to pull away then we headed to Houston on our own schedule.  We would go a little faster than the busses, pulled over when we wanted to, met them at their rest stop and then in Houston.  But with B, we stayed right with the buses.  We wanted to be close by if he lost it and the bus had to pull over and let him off.  You know I had a million worst case scenarios in mind! Miracles of miracles, B made the entire trip down on the bus.

When we got there, I could tell B was agitated but he said he was good.  I probably shouldn't have believed him but he's been really good at telling us lately when he needs help.  I probably should have taken him to the car and let him chill a bit before going in.  But I didn't.  He was super excited about being there with his friend.  Once inside we got separated from his friend, it was loud and chaotic and things went downhill quickly. 

Let's pause right here to say that NASA is a space themed Chuck E. Cheese, in my humble opinion.  I like having the time with each boy but I am not a fan of this field trip.  It's grueling.  And not exciting.  As a matter of fact, it's boring.  One year we got to see "mission control" which was a mock up that looked worse than a movie set.  The center of the main room has been partitioned off all three times we've been there.  But the kids love and I guess that's really the point.

Back to our story...B was in full meltdown within the first 45 minutes of being there.  We told him as soon as he was ready we would go.  When he lost it, we went to the car.  He was really angry though. And I didn't want him to regret leaving. We sat in the car a while.  He calmed down and decided to go back in.  Ryan and I exchanged a look - we had almost managed to leave before noon.

We ate lunch and hooked up with his buddy.  They played a bit.  Then the lights went out.  No kidding, full on power outage at NASA.  We took that as our cue.  We went right out the front door and headed home. 

As much as I would have loved to go home when B first lost it, I'm glad he decided to go back in.  Now he has a positive memory of the trip.  But mostly, I super glad that it's our last trip to NASA.  Thank you sweet Jesus!

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