Sunday in Aspen with Emma

Yesterday I spent the entire day with my family.  This was a first since they arrived a week ago.  In the morning I took Emma on the 4-wheeler.  I couldn’t remember how to put the thing in reverse so I made sure we went places which only required forward movement.  The whole shifting gears thing was a bit tricky, so Emma learned quickly that she needed to hold on to me as we galumphed along – something she doesn’t usually do when riding with Richard.

After our ride we took the dogs for a walk.

And on the way we saw this…

Upon further investigation, it turns out it was the desiccated pelt of a coyote or perhaps a deer, hard to tell at this late stage.  My mother evidently found it lying on the path several months ago and hung it on this shrub so the dogs wouldn’t drag it around.  Emma was utterly uninterested and walked right by.

After our walk, we went up on the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain where a blue grass band played.

On the ride up the mountain, Emma played a game where she went through a list of all our various relatives and added, “cousin” or “uncle” or some other title before their name.  Then she got a little creative and said, “Jungle Andy!”

“No Em!  Not jungle Andy, Uncle Andy,” we said, laughing.

“Uncle Andy,” she responded, then very quickly added, “Jungle Andy!” as we screamed “No!  Not jungle Andy!”  Emma thought this so hilarious that she kept it up for the entire 20 minute ride.  And in truth, it was pretty funny.

After our lunch on the top of the mountain, Emma stood in line to bungie jump.  The weekends are particularly crowded and so we ended up waiting…  and waiting…  and waiting.  For 45 minutes or more, I lost track of how long we waited.  But finally it was Emma’s turn.

After Emma finished bungie jumping we drove out to the Snowmass Recreation Center and swam in their outdoor saline water pool.  Finally we drove home, changed and went to Takah Sushi for dinner.

Emma was terrific.  Not a single meltdown.  She waited the interminably long wait to bungie jump, she went along with all the plans, even when they changed at the last minute due to things beyond our control.  And at the pool, she showered, washed her hair and then for the first time ever, brushed her own hair, completely, without any help from me.  When we went out for dinner that evening, we brought along her food, she ate with us, then played, making faces and being silly.  When it was time to leave, she ran ahead toward the car, never a protest.

Now that’s a great day!

For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to:

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