The weekend before Thanksgiving was my Grandpa's visitation, funeral & grave side service. My family was able to attend all of these services, and it was a lot of "newness" for our Ethan. But I am pleased to report that he did very well!!!
All of these events took place at my Grandpa's home town which is located several hours from our home. My mom had the idea to go up a day early & get acclimated to the hotel & surroundings so as to not feel rushed as well as help out Ethan. Great idea! So, we left Thursday afternoon for the hotel. Ethan did great in the car, but he was super excited when he discovered that our hotel had a pool! Well, that night we swam & even got into the hot tub....which was his favorite.
The next day, my mom had several details to attend to, so Corey, Ethan & I were left with some free time. We saw a park close by & spent almost an hour playing there. Then, we thought it would be fun to go bowling. Although Ethan is extremely sensitive to loud noises, bowling alleys have never bothered him......strange, I know. We were trying to do as much physical activity as we could while we could. I knew that there would be a LOT of sitting & trying to be quiet, and in order for that to possibly happen, Ethan needed to do an equal amount of moving & heavy work....running, jumping, pushing bowling ball, etc.
Well, we went bowling, and we were the only people in the whole place! 40 lanes & just us three.....it was nice! But after bowling 3 frames, Ethan was ready to do something else. But we had prepaid for 2 GAMES!!!! So, it took some crafty parenting skills, but we all bowled 2 games & had a great time.
After that, we grabbed lunch & then went back to the hotel to have Ethan nap. He had been up very late the night before, so he took his nap without any issue. A rare & beautiful thing! While Ethan & Corey napped, my mom & I had coffee by the hotel's fireplace. It was really nice to have that time just us girls.
Well, after nap, we all got ready for Grandpa's visitation, and I was kinda nervous as to how Ethan would react to seeing Papa in a casket. Turns out that Ethan was very interested! He didn't ask me any questions, but he kept coming over & peeking inside at Papa. He never said a word....just kept looking. Finally, I reminded Ethan that Jesus took Papa's spirit home to Heaven, and we were just looking at Papa's body. (What a difficult concept to teach!) I told Ethan that all of the people in the church were coming to say goodbye to Papa. Then, Ethan, still looking at my Grandpa, quietly said, "Bye Papa." It was so tender & sweet & had a sad tone to it......yeah.....I lost it. Tears came so quickly & I couldn't talk, but thankfully my husband was right there to step in & take over the teaching moment.
I hadn't really thought Ethan would be all that interested in what was going on that weekend. I thought he would just want to play with his cousins. Earlier in the week, after Grandpa had died, I was crying at home. Ethan crawled up on my lap, and said, "Mommy, why are you sad?" So, I told him that Grandpa had died, but he was in Heaven with Jesus now. I asked him if he understood or had any questions, and he said, "No, I need to go click on the sheep." He in the midst of a computer game, and was more interested in the game than why Mommy was sad. LOL! So, I didn't think he would be so curious this past weekend.
But Ethan did well during the visitation.....mostly ran around with the other kiddos. At the funeral the next morning, he was such a wiggle worm in the pew & had to go potty about 3 times, but overall I would say he did well. It was a long service, and it was difficult for all the kiddos to sit still & be quiet. And at the grave side service, he was the same....wiggly & had to go potty several times. I'm so thankful that my husband is someone I can count on to "be in charge of Ethan" so I could sit with my cousins or cry or help my mom or whatever needed done. Thanks Corey!
After the grave side, our family took pictures & then went to eat. We had our own room at the restaurant because there was a lot of us, and Ethan decided to hide under the table. Typically, we don't allow Ethan do to this type of behavior but it had been a very overwhelming weekend for him, and we were quite noisy. We decided that Ethan needed the break more than anything. He was such a trooper this weekend, and it really helped make it easier for our family during a time of stress & grief.
It was a long & tiring weekend, but we all made it through! And now we can get back to our normal routine......oh wait! It's Christmas time!!!! Well, so much for typical routine!