Seeing Sea World in a Different Way

7.6.12 Sea World Day

For the past few years, Dad and I have wanted to go to Sea World. We say this and then it never happens. This year I decided we were making it happen. I picked a day, I sent out an official “Save the Date” email to my family and we all had it on the calendar. Even Husband came for the day. I think halfway through he couldn’t believe he was actually at Sea World with his inlaws and no children but I know he secretly had a fun time.

Regardless of it being a silly day of family fun, I was a little anxious because of Mom. We needed to rent her a scooter and the website says they are first come first served. I knew try as we might we were not going to be there at 10am when the gates opened. We run about an hour late to everything we have planned and this would be no exception. Arriving around 11 we were right on time in my family’s world. But having never done this before, I wasn’t sure how fast they went or how difficult it was to get one.

I was also nervous because of the heat and the impact it can have on Mom’s MS. We made sure Mom stayed really hydrated during the day and we paid an extra $10 and got the covered umbrella hanger above her scooter which was the best investment we could have made. Sea World is unique in that you can stay out of the sun fairly easy. We saw every show and they are all held under covered areas. We sat in the handicap accessible seating at the top so there was also a nice breeze. We also made sure to spend lots of time inside indoor air conditioned exhibits.  Mom made it the entire day and we were all so proud of her by the end of it. I think she was even amazed with herself having told us she was trying to predict beforehand how long she would last before needing someone to take her home.

It was one of the most fun days my family has had this summer. It showed me that yes MS has made simple outings like this a little more challenging but we have to press on regardless. We have to keep living our life. We have to keep having our family adventures, going to different places and not just locking ourselves up at home. It requires more planning, it requires more organization and it also brings with it a lot more unknowns. These are all little things I struggle with. I am a planner and I really like to have my plan, know what’s going to happen and stick to it. I am “slowly” learning though that I am going to need to just roll with it. Roll with the changes, embrace the unexpected and just deal with it. Know going into things that there will be unexpected things that happen, changes that we can’t anticipate and get comfortable embracing this. In embracing the unexpected I am also growing as a person. How I handle Mom’s MS as we navigate the world outside of our house is teaching me how to better cope when plans don’t work out. It’s also teaching me the art of a back up plan created on the fly.

My family had such a great time at Sea World and the thought that we might not have gone because of MS taught me a big lesson. As a family we need to commit to retaining these fun moments and really enjoying them. I don’t know what tomorrow brings but I know that today brings a day of fun that needs to be cherished and embraced. 

Below are pictures from Sea World Day:

 Mom and Me strolling along to the Dolphins show. Check out Mom’s fancy Sea World scooter rental. These things are awesome.

Dad above and Sister K below feeding the ducks. A mandatory stop for my family because of Mom’s obsession with flamingos seen in the background. The ducks liked Dad a little more than Sister K….

 Inside the giant, air conditioned aquarium watching the fish with Mom. It was actually very relaxing.

 Dad has to have knee surgery in about a month because he has torn his meniscus. Becuase of this after walking around most of the day his knee was starting to bother him so we went and got Mom’s actual wheelchair (not the Sea World rental) to roll him around in. Sister K and I just had to laugh looking at both of our parents in wheelchairs.

*Only person not pictured in these is Husband. He was the one responsible for taking most of these pictures. I promise he was there..even if he can’t believe it himself.

How do you embrace the unexpected? Do you struggle with having no control in certain situations sometimes? Does your family enjoy silly family fun outings? When was the last time you went to Sea World?

 

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One thought on “Seeing Sea World in a Different Way

  1. Your Mom whether she knows it or not is blessed to have such a support ‘team’. I do not carry statistics around in my pocket but I know from experience that more often than not the spouse caregiver is not only a one person show but also juggling basically single parenting smaller children or teens. Back this story up take what maybe 10 – 15 years off each persons life. I imagine it may play out different with two teenage daughters and boyfriends. Thank you as always for making me think.

    Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

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