Two unrelated stories coming up – they just happened on the same day. Those of you who read this may soon find themselves sick of my random stories from our days but when J has a success, it’s nearly always parade worthy to me. 😉
So the ice cream…
Those of you local to the northeastern MA area know about Jordan’s Furniture. This location I speak of is in Reading. It has an IMAX, a trapeze school, a Fuddruckers and an ice cream shop. You know, all the things a furniture store needs, right? Their ice cream stand is Richardson’s, which is so… so… SO good. Seriously. Check out their site. Apologies to my lactose intolerant friends but I have a deep addiction to the ice cream, as my overly ample hindquarters can attest.
Here’s the trouble though: Jordan’s is very echoing. It is a little oddly lit when you enter, filled with garish colors and the loud sound of the water that makes the Liquid Fireworks show. Whenever the Liquid Fireworks show is going on, there is loud music booming through the area. It’s pretty intense even for me and I am not dealing with even a fraction of what J is. Previously, he is nearly universally done everything in his power to get the heck out of there.
Today, it went a little differently.
We arrived just after his occupational therapy session so he had had about an hour of work on his sensory needs to allow him to be more calm than he usually is. The place was blissfully empty, so we took our time entering and explored very, very slowly and carefully. It took a long walk around the display floor before returning to the open foyer/location of the ice cream stand before he would even consider making an attempt at getting our ice cream.
When he grew scared of the Liquid Fireworks, we sat down out of the way on the floor and he tucked up onto my lap so I could hold him snugly while he watched. He gradually began to relax and when the show ended, we got up and slowly made our way to the thankfully empty counter. As I held him, we ordered and he watched the young lady make our milkshake.
I might be biased, but that little man earned his ice cream with his good, hard work.
He pulled at me, he said “all done” and “bye-bye” a few times, but with every encouragement to keep trying he kept trusting and tried. This was what felt like the equivalent of asking a grown adult to bungee jump. He eased his way to the edge, glanced over, edged back and repeated the process until he was ready to jump.
And he did it.
We celebrated with our milkshake and I looked a fool cheering for him when we made it back outside.
We got home and were walking to our front door when a kindly older lady and her small dog were walking along behind us. Her little dog, a shih-tzu I think, scampered right up to J most curiously. No aggression, mere gentle happy friendliness. J turned around with a big smile and said “dog!”. We asked permission, as we’ve been practicing approaching animals respectfully (sorry C, the cats got the worst of him yesterday) and he got to pet the sweet little dog. The way the two just acted like long lost best buddies made me and the dog’s lady laugh. Even as they walked away, the sweet dog was looking back longingly at J and he at her.
It was too sweet. I hope his service dog has the same gentle, loving disposition and looks at him with similar adoration.