Tuesday, July 21

Through Abby's Eyes

Abby gets a terrific kick out of living, so whatever we do or wherever we go she is always enthusiastic about it! She is such a joy and it's so fun to see life through her eyes (which I am working on doing more and more).

She loved the Oregon Caves and hiking the trails there. Ryan is kind of a plodder and complains along the way that he's getting tired or hungry or whatever, but Abby just goes and goes...until she hits a wall, and then she's done. She doesn't give any warning really, she just all of the sudden can't go any further and starts to cry and become almost hysterical. It's kind of comical now that we've seen it and know how to handle it better. Anyway, she did pretty well on our hike until the very end when she hit her wall, but thankfully we were almost done and seeing the van got her over the hump and stopped the meltdown.

The Great Cats tour was right up Abby's alley. She adores animals, and seeing these fantastic wild cats so close was very exciting for her. The tour was a little long, even for her, but she only mentioned once that she was tired of standing. I could tell she was dying to get right up to the cage and pet one of those big kitties! Thankfully she was able to control that impulse, and we left the compound with all fingers and hands intact!

Not all of the cages had this retaining fence to keep you away from the cage. Some just had a blue spray-painted line on the ground, and I was a little nervous about how well Abby would stay back and kept a close eye on her.

She was awed by the Redwoods and the elk and the ferns and the creek that ran beside our campsite. She made friends with the Stellers Jays and the chipmunks and couldn't keep her hands off the banana slugs!

She became attached to "Sammy" a Stellars Jay we saw at the Ladybird Johnson Grove, and every jay she saw thereafter she was sure was Sammy. At one point the jay was getting perilously close to stealing our dinner right off the grill and Daddy was chucking things at it to shoo it away. When the jay left for a time, she became almost hysterical that her "baby boy" was gone and she'd never see him again!

Meet Jimmy, the banana slug, who was about six inches long!

Abby loves her brother so much and is always telling him so, much to his chagrin. She can play by herself if she has to, but she would much rather play with Ryan. They spent lots of time having adventures in the bushes during the times we were at our campsite.

The beach, well, she loves that too! She loves tidepooling and is excellent at finding creatures the rest of us miss, she loves the feel of the sand and the water, she loves digging up sand crabs and digging trenches, she loves running through the waves and splashing about.

I think we found an excellent career path for Abigail. She would make an excellent Ranger! She loves the outdoors and learning about wildlife and plants, she isn't afraid of the bugs and slugs and animals, and she loves people and interacting with them. Watching the Rangers give their talks and lead us on hikes, I could totally see Abby doing that one day. We'll see what the Lord has in mind for her, but I am tucking away that small insight for some day in the future.

On one of our first hikes the ranger pointed out the oxalis growing prolifically on the forest floor and encouraged everyone to try tasting it. Once Abby found out it was edible, we couldn't keep her from chewing on the stuff for the rest of our time in the redwoods! Every time we turned around she had a sprig of it sticking out of her mouth.

We definitely have issues with Abby regarding her impulsivity and short attention span and other issues due to her FASD, but we are so thankful that she is part of our family. She brings a vibrancy and joy to our lives that we would sorely be missing without her!


Darcy said...

We have a friend who's daughter is the same age as Hannah and she has Asbergers (sp?), spectrum of Autism. And in your first paragraph of explaining Abby when she hits a wall, we've witnessed that with Gabby. And you're right, it's almost comical. But you do learn to work with her limits and abilities and attention span. The motto with Gabby is "Life's a party". LOL.

I'm so glad Abby enjoyed the great outdoors! What fun you guys had!

Kim said...

Yes, Abby has lots of overlapping "symptoms" of Asperger's/Autism.

We're STILL learning how to work within her limits and abilities and attention span though.


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