I have four children. The last, my son, was born at only 23 weeks and weighed just 1 pound. We knew that he’d have some special needs as he grew older, but that only made him more special to us. He is in a self-contained class in school and is well liked by all his classmates, as well as his teachers. He also loves to swim. He is on a swim team and he just loves the water. He loves the quietness that he experiences and how fast he can move in the water. In the water, he’s not so different.
As a family, we love Great Wolf Lodge. We try and go as often as possible, if we’re lucky we go once a year. My son doesn’t think as quickly as other kids—but he loves playing MagiQuest. Somehow he remembers. He remembers where to look to wave his wand. He can tell his sisters which floor in which direction when they can't find something. Last year, he was the first one to face the dragon. He failed. Another boy—complete stranger—helped him. The joy that was on his face was priceless. You know the famous commercial, you can buy just about anything, but utter joy—priceless.
It’s obvious that my son has difficulties, but instead of being made fun of him—this stranger made the fight against the dragon a special memory that my son and I will never, ever forget. This boy, maybe 10 or 11, gave my son hints, showed him what to do and helped him defeat the dragon. The sense of pride and accomplishment was felt by everyone that surrounded them. My son will most likely remember all those hints for the next time he faces that dragon. I wish I had thought to thank that young man, but he had walked away. My son’s sisters never were able to defeat the dragon, so my son left Great Wolf Lodge that weekend having done something that no one else was able to, and that never happens to him. I can’t wait to get back so he can teach his sisters how to defeat the dragon—what a great moment that will be, for all of us.
Name: Deb Sarhan
Lodge: Pocono Mountains, PA