Freedom of will

We had a lovely lazy afternoon on the beach yesterday, back on the loungers that Joshua prefers to our rug! We soaked up the sun, dozed, had another swim in the sea and watched the people around us. I cannot remember a day when we spent so long on the beach, previously Joshua has been restless to move on but he dozed more than any of us. So he should have been full of beans later, as he was well rested. But when we got home, he curled up on the settee for another nap after his tea. He was very reluctant to head out again, when I explained to him that we were going to watch the firework display.

But he was out-voted and so I re-dressed him in warmer clothes, and we headed out at 7.30pm to drive to the firework display. The town was heaving and we struggled to find somewhere to park, such is the attraction. We walked down to te seafront where the display was taking place, I let my husband push the wheelchair through the crowds as I am not assertive enough in a crowded area. By this time Joshua had perked up and was enjoying the buzz. He watched the first five minutes of the firework display, but then he had had enough and rested his head on his knees. We try to include Joshua in as many rich experiences as possible but as they say, you can lead a horse to water, but cannot make it drink, as we cold not make Joshua enjoy the display.

I would have preferred Joshua to enjoy the entertainment, but it does not bother me when Joshua nods off with his heads on his knees. But I learnt yesterday that my husband feels embarrassed by that: He thinks that  we will be judged as bad parents, dragging that poor disabled boy out against his will! That has never crossed my mind and reminds me how differently we see the world. I do not worry too much about what strangers think of our family, but I have always been pleased that we take Joshua out and about and expose him to so many different sights and smells. I feel that he is luckier than most and if he chooses to nod off, while being entertained, then that is his choice. He was, I note, not so exhausted that he could not raise his head and jig in his wheelchair to the live band who were performing after the fireworks. So it is simply Joshua exercising his free will by opting out and I applaud that, it would not, after all, be normal for a 15 year old to share in all of his parents’ choice of activities.

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