Amazing Things Can Happen, If You Just Let Them

Well, sometimes things just don’t go as they are planned. This week is no exception to the rule.

Tinklemeister & Buddy - Best Friends Forever

This week our children are on Spring Break (if you could really call it Spring. Spring just hasn’t shown it’s pretty face just yet here in southeastern Michigan.) The original plan was a road trip to Illinois, Chicago and Peoria to be more precise. Had the dog sitter all lined up, the days planned, and the two boys, Buddy & Tinklemeister, excited to go on a new and unknown adventure. As fate would have it, that is when the monkey wrench was thrown into the mix.

Buddy, our oldest son at age 7 who has Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), came down with yet another sore throat. Most sore throats for our son end up with a positive case of strep. Time to call the ENT and get an appointment. As (bad) luck would have it, our ENT is not in the office on Mondays, so we set our appointment for Tuesday at 10 AM. Once we get a diagnosis, we can hit the road and get our vacation underway.

Well, what to do in the meantime? We certainly didn’t want to waste a vacation day, especially since for once it was warmer than it has been here for a while, even if it was windy.  Looking over a list of local Detroit area museums, we became quite discouraged by the costs. Some fees were so steep! How can average folk such as ourselves afford to go to these places of culture? The answer is simple, we can’t. So now to find a low to no cost venue.

Then I remembered it, the postcard that came in the mail late last week. The butterflies were back at Oakland Mall.  Finally, a fun day out that won’t break the bank.

2011 Butterflies at Oakland Mall

We headed out to the mall and took the boys to see the free Butterfly Exhibit. The same exhibit we attempted last year at this time. The same exhibit that Buddy melted down over because the “tour guides” told him that the butterflies would fly all around him and could possibly land on him. The same exhibit that had me leaving the mall with my head hung down in shame because I had the “bratty kid”. Little did we know at the time that he wasn’t just being “bratty”. His AS and SPD were being sent into over-drive.

This year we went well prepared. We let Buddy know what would happen. We explained how the butterflies could fly in his face, they could land on him. We told him if he was uncomfortable, he could leave the exhibit. He was cool with everything we talked about. But I have to say, I had my doubts he’d survive the experience without melting.

Butterfly Hunting

Well, imagine my surprise when he walked right into the butterfly house and got down on his knees to see the butterflies resting on the potted plants.  Then, without any hesitation, he hopped up and said “Mom, I wanna hold a butterfly!”

I will not lie to you, while taking photos of both boys, I could barely see what I was shooting through my tears of joy.

Our “tour guide” was so patient and so helpful and extremely kind.  He made sure that both boys got to hold a butterfly and that I could get a few great shots of this great event.  Little did our guide know what a great thing he was doing for our family.

So to the young man who helped us, and whose name we unfortunately did not learn, thank you a million times over. You made two little boys extremely happy and one grateful Mama very proud!

And the best part of the day was a lesson learned…

amazing things CAN happen, if you just let them!

Buddy and the Butterfly

About justaphillygirl

40-something mom to 3 great kids - 2 who walk and 1 who soars with the Angels. Stay at home mom, originally from Philly, PA but living life as large as I can in Southeastern Michigan.
This entry was posted in Anxiety, Asperger Syndrome, Autism, Butterflies, Childhood disoders, meltdowns, New adventures, Sensory Processing Disorder, temper tantrums, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Amazing Things Can Happen, If You Just Let Them

  1. Pingback: Small Moments Spotlight #13 | in these small moments

  2. Galit Breen says:

    Oh sweet lady- I adored and related to much of this- it’s still too cold here to really be called Spring, for one. I, too, strive to go with the moment but miss sometimes. When I do succeed, it’s so, so worth it. And? I *love* the butterfly gardens near us, too! 🙂

    • Thank you for stopping by my corner of the world. We’re still not yet in full Spring mode… hopefully next week. (At least that is what I keep trying to convince myself of!) This moment was such a memorable one. This time I knew what *could* happen, was prepared with a back up plan and happily didn’t need it. He was SO enamored by the exhibit and with his experience that we *adopted* two caterpillars. One has recently hatched and we are enjoying more small moments because of it.

  3. MamaTrack says:

    What a beautiful day. You made it magical for us–I can only imagine how you must have felt living it. I’m so happy for you and your family. Good luck for more days like this one!

    • Thank you for your kind comments. It makes me proud to know that you were able to feel the magic I was trying to share. Those are the moments that catch hold of our hearts and never let them go. Thanks too for the good wishes for more good days. I’m hoping to keep them coming more and more often.

  4. I am so happy for you! He looks happy too! Happy Easter!

  5. Yuliya says:

    That last photo is absolutely precious. Thank you for sharing this, and to Nichole for featuring it!

    • Thank you for your kind words. That picture will be one to be blown up and framed. With his Asperger’s it is VERY rare that I can get him to look at the camera. His eyes are truly the window to his soul. And I was very lucky to have gotten the shot when I did.

      I am MOST grateful to Nichole for allowing my little blog some space on her page. It really warmed my heart to receive such an honor. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!

  6. Allyson says:

    My dad stumbled across this blog post and sent it to me, shocked by the similarities in our lives. I too have 2 boys– 7 & 4, and the older of the two has SPD & many ASD-like tendencies. We live in Grand Rapids and the Meijer Gardens is one of our favorite places especially in the spring during the Butterflies are Blooming event. Next spring if you want to make the visit, I would be happy to meet & treat you & your boys there for the experience. Every year, people are shocked when the butterflies land on my 7 year old. I’ve often thought he has a whole other way to relate to living creatures, that the rest of us just don’t quite understand.

    • Dear Allyson,

      Thank you SO much for your email. I apologize for not writing sooner. I’ve been dealing with the loss of my laptop and have not blogged sine June when it unexpectedly died on me. Add that to the ASD & SPD and a few other hectic things in my life I’ve been pretty much off the grid if it couldn’t be done via my smart phone. :-/

      It is so nice to know that there are others out there who are going through the same things and that I am not alone. The thought of visiting Meijer Gardens is an exciting one for sure! I would love to share stories from the “battle fields” and learn how you handle different situations regarding both ASD & SPD. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone who’s been there and found a possible solution. So PLESAE keep in contact with me. You can email me at

      I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully getting to meet you and your boys next Spring!

      Wishing you all the best!


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