|NHRA drivers signing autographs|
I remember taking Noah the very first year. He was 6 months old, and it was a completely nightmare for him and for us. Noah was never a good car traveler. He got so upset on the way home. We figured like most parents he'd just cry it out. We had no idea that he was causing himself to vomit over and over again, while hysterically crying, grunting, snorting, all the while serving for the perfect storm for aspirating on his vomit. The entire backseat was covered, and he was so young he was rear facing in the car, so we didn't really know the gravity of the situation until we had reached home. We felt terrible. It was the last time we ever contemplated the cry it out method for anything. We quickly realized cry it out equaled life-threatening. If Noah so much as even whimpered we pulled over until he stopped. To say the least we didn't get very far from home - if at all because of that.
You'd think we'd be crazy to do it again after that first experience with Noah, but we've learned the art of assisting Noah. While one person drives, the other is on Noah duty. Coming to his rescue if his movie ends and he needs another for self-soothing, if he gets upset, if he needs anything at all. I rarely, if ever travel long distances alone with Noah just for that reason.
Over the years the Mopar Party has changed a bit, now there are not that many cars and food vendors have been replaced with beer stands forcing hungry people into nearby restaurants. The music is just as loud, but this year I didn't find it wheelchair friendly. People were just oblivious to a wheelchair trying to navigate the crowd, sidewalk access remained blocked not only by vendors but also by people who just gathered there refusing to move Lifting a wheelchair over curbs isn't all that fun. And Noah was agitated that people would not part for him like the Red Sea blocking his ability to move anywhere.
We wound up walking to the creek and abandoning the block party altogether. The creek was peaceful, but the water was running high so you could hear the rush and force of it hitting the rocks. I used to walk that creek a lot, especially when I used to work in that area so many years ago. A different lifetime. It feels like looking in the rear view mirror. Everything feels so different. Stores, businesses, and restaurants have come and gone. As much as you wish things stayed the same they just don't. Life goes on without you.
|Walking Clear Creek|
This may have been our last year going - I don't really know. Chris loves it, and I know before our boys were born we always dreamed they'd share our love of cars and racing. But the reality is Noah will never be able to race, we can't even comfortably take him to the Mile High Nationals in excessive heat with no suitable shelter from the sun, and it's doubtful we'll ever be lucky enough to obtain tower seats behind the Christmas tree (race language for the lights that count down before you punch the gas). And we're a family that really believes in staying together. Our belief has always been, no one gets left behind. As much as you once loved something in your life, occasionally you have to say goodbye to it and that's okay.
Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.