(The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a story about Hudson, our beloved six year old who just happens to have an extra chromosome.)
They say when the cat’s away the mice will play. And last weekend I told you about my adventures in Whitefish Bay over July 4th weekend. While I was away at the wedding, my boys hiked Mt. Kearsarge, just 30 minutes north in Warner, NH.
It’s a real challenge for our family finding summertime activities everyone can do together. On the mini-golf course, Hudson, cat-like, insists on sitting right in the middle of the green. Every. Single. Putt.
Hiking has always been tough because he walked late. And he’d rather sit than walk anyway. Beach, pool and lake trips are difficult because he’s afraid of water, still hasn’t figured out how to deal with sand. (As in keep it out of his mouth.)
So Mt. Kearsarge seemed the perfect choice to hike with Hudson because you drive the first three and a half miles on the auto road to the picnic area. And from the picnic area it’s an easy 1/2 mile hike to the summit.
Hudson is six now, mostly non-verbal. And while he didn’t start walking ’til he was nearly four, he’s getting steadier on his feet every day. Jon and the boys figured he’d be ok with the short hike.
So up the auto road they drove, picnicked first, then headed up the mountain on foot. After a couple minutes, Hudson tripped. Looked like a twisted ankle, though it didn’t show swelling. Since Hudson can’t talk, he can’t say what hurts. But he refused to put weight on it, even with lots of encouragement.
So the boys hoisted him on shoulders, passed him around ’til they made it to the top.
He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.
You should know that Hudson is forty-three pounds. Forty-three pounds of completely dead weight. He’s of no help, a virtual sack of potatoes. And carrying him up a mountain is no small feat.
When they got to the summit, he sat in one place, refused to walk there either. So they carried him on shoulders for the hike back down too.
When they get to the parking area, they set him down. And guess who races off to the car all smiles and ready to go? Hudson, that’s who. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. (True story.)
People often ask me if I think Hudson is making progress. And I say yes and no. Because progress is often so slow that it’s nearly imperceptible on a daily basis.
Hudson’s always been petrified of water. But just last week at my aunt and uncle’s at the Cape, Hudson nervously (but willingly) got in a kayak with his dad, had a wonderful ride across the glassy pond. Then later that afternoon, he made his way back to the kayak, pointed to it. His way of asking for another ride. Progress. Baby steps.
Later that week he rode a tube with his dad down the current of the natural lazy river at Woodneck Beach in Falmouth.
And this may sound like a crazy one. But Hudson won’t eat ice cream. Nope. He’s always had sensory issues eating cold things, and always refuses it.
But after mini-golfing at the Cape last week, one of the boys coaxed a reluctant Hudson to try a taste of vanilla ice cream. And guess what? Mikey liked it! And he’s been sampling ice cream ever since. So YAY Hudson, and yay us! One more thing we can do together.
Each baby step forward reminds me that Hudson and all people with special needs are far more like the rest of us than they are different. Maybe they’re just taking the scenic route.
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Dear Allie, it is so touching how your other boys carried Hudson – just the fact that they were willing to do it for him, even knowing that Huson might simply be resisting the hike. What a beautiful family you have, I enjoyed the pictures – the picnic site looks spectacular. Awesome about Hudson getting in the kayak, and eating vanilla ice cream! Yay Hudson, way to go! Loved the post. Take care, Allie. Xoxo
Thank you so much Carina, so thankful for all my boys. I still haven’t made it to that picnic spot myself – but I want to and it’s not far. Jon took those pics.of the boys on Mt. Kearsarge. Hope you and yours had a great weekend! xo
I love all the photos! You are an amazing family and your other boys are so filled with love for their little bro! & what an amazing accomplishment to start to see past his fear of water and to take little steps to feel safe in it!! & the ice-cream!! love it how fun, since ice-cream could be eaten for breakfast by me 😉
Thank you so much for the kind words Kellie, Hudson has been making big strides in the last few weeks and it’s been a lot of fun. I’m sure Hudson would be happy to eat ice cream for breakfast too!
Oh my goodness! Water — not so bad, after all; ice cream — why not? it’s hot! And a little rest does an ankle good, no?!! That’s our boy! And how about his brothers? They are everyday heroes, for sure! What a great family! Where there’s a will there’s a way! XOXO
Thanks Mama! xo
Susie Mandel says
So wonderful to read these encouraging words! Hudson is truly blessed with a wonderful family. <3
Thanks Susie, we are so thankful for these little bits of progress!
Pauline Cannistraci says
Loved hearing about your family!
It all sounds like fun!
Thanks Mrs. C – fun to hear from you. I hope you are having a great summer. XO
Denise Q. says
Hudson is such a gift to so many. Wait until he has some of your home-made ice cream! All your boys are amazing.
Thank you sweet Denise – and I hadn’t even thought about that – I wonder what he will think of homemade??? Soon.
nancy mcmahan says
I think we all could travel the scenic route more often. Take our tume…enjoy life. Good for Hudson getting in the kayak. Great brothers he has.
Thanks Nancy – I just couldn’t believe he got in without crying or whimpering. This is big! 🙂
Christy Smith says
I love reading about your summer adventures….hiking, kayaking, tubing, mini golf, ice cream, picnicking, etc. and I really love reading stories about Hudson…and what terrific brothers he has! Warms my heart and reminds me to keep an eye out for more summer adventures we can do here in Cali!
Thanks cousin – it’s been a great summer for Hudson! Hope you and the fam are enjoying the last fleeting days of summer!
Dorothy Dennehy says
Yes Allie Hudson is making progress — slow as this maybe. You wrote it beautifully. We are blessed to have children in our lives that teach us patience –slow going–love abounding.
Awww…..thanks Dottie. You’re so right, these kids really bless us and teach us so many lessons. xo
Barbara Child says
Real progress! And that includes all your boys! They are learning such valuable lessons on helping others, kindness, serving and many more. Great post!
Thank you so much Barbara! We’re all learning here. 🙂
Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary says
Oh I always love reading your musings, Allie! They fill my heart with such joy! You must be so proud of your boys for hiking Mt. Kearsarge AND carrying your youngest up the summit with them! I had to laugh at the part where Hudson then ran to the car! hahahaha. Too cute! I’ve gotta give him props for crying wolf on that one! So wonderful he is taking baby step and trying new things! Hearing this bring a huge smile to my face, Allie! I’m so happy for you! Nothing wrong with taking the scenic route in life, I have a feeling that route is filled with much more appreciation. Cheers, dear – to a week as wonderful as you! xoxo
Awww…thanks friend. You totally made my day. I think I love writing about Hudson more than anything or anyone else. The truth is, in his need, he teaches the rest of us so much. Since I wrote this post, we took him to the local pool. For years he has hung back, whimpered on the sides – so scared of water. This past Tuesday, he didn’t dabble a toe, he JUMPED in to the pool! Yep. I was in shock. I’m so proud and mostly just grateful – because it’s one more thing our family can do together. Thanks for the kindness and cheering from afar friend. XOXO
Elaine Murphy says
Yay Hudson! We have a friend whose child has Down Syndrome, he is now in his thirties,. When he was Hudson’s age he was terrified of water, now he wins medals for swimming in Special Olympics. Miracles do happen!
At Kennebunk Beach in the summer, an acquaintance teaches surfing to autistic and special needs children. She supplies the boards and wet suits and two volunteer surfers per child. No charge…Nancy has been on Chronicle. Her next class is tomorrow night. It is amazing to see the faces of these children…
Hi Elaine, thanks so much for this comment! I’ve never heard of special needs children surfing program – what an awesome thought that is! Nancy must be quite an amazing person. Someday I will have to see this in person. I can only imagine the joy it must give these kids. Who knows, maybe Hudson will be out there someday. I am thinking of signing him up with Camp Upreach ( I think that’s what it’s called), the equestrian place for special needs children in Bedford or Goffstown. I have a friend whose daughter volunteers there and she’s been bugging me to bring Hudson for years now. I think he’s is just getting to the point that he will enjoy new experiences and not cry all the time. So exciting!
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop says
Hooray for Hudson! He’s got everyone wrapped right around his fingers. 🙂 He might not be verbal, but he knows what he is doing. And hooray for his amazing brothers!
School starts up for us in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to see all my students. They all have a special place in my heart. The special needs students have an extra big spot! They have so much love and have to face obstacles other students don’t even know about.
Hi Kathy – you have Hudson’s number alright. Down to a T. Ha ha. He says very little but has us all jumping. He’s a clever one. Enjoy your last few weeks of freedom and I know all the kids at school will be overjoyed to see you in September! They are so lucky to have you as their teacher. Have a super week. xo
Once again you touch our hearts with your stories about Hudson and his big brothers. I am just so excited to hear all of this good news about Hudson’s new accomplishments. A few too at once! I’m happy for you! He goes at his own pace and when IT happens you all must be thrilled. Like you said more things for you to do as a family. Going in the water is really huge! Hooray for Hudson and his brothers! They are so good to him. I just love this family!?
Hi Tracy – thanks so much for the encouraging words. It’s so exciting to see progress, and for us – these little steps forward are life changing. I’m so proud of Hudson and very thankful for kind words from wonderful friends like you.
Linda Jenkins says
Arrived home from Vegas and had some time to catch up on my emails. Love this story, especially your line “He ain’t heavy; he’s my brother.” The story and the pictures capture the love, faith, and caring that exist in your family. There is such strength when we all work together; your family is a constant reminder of that strength and how much we need more of that in our world. Thanks for sharing the love and the inspiration.
Welcome home Linda – hope you and J had a wonderful trip. Thanks for the kindness, so grateful to have such encouraging friends like you. XO
What a handsome, handsome family!
I laughed at the wolf-crying boy… The little sneaker! :o)
Thank you so much for sharing your journey, your boys, and your thoughts!
And thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog!
I look forward to checking your recent book recommendations out as well!!!
What a wondeful pictures Allie! You have an extraordinaire family!! xoxo