Leroy has many obsessions. He can micro-focus on ideas or objects and will not stray from those thoughts for more than a minute. One in particular that the famiily gets to witness is Leroy's fascination with fireworks. Mind you, this is not an average kid who gets excited about the 4th of July. This is a child who starts talking about fireworks in early June. Leroy saves his money and talks of nothing but fireworks. This is fairly common with Asperger's kids, to intently make one's obsession everyone elses...but it still surprises me every year.
This year we were on the Oregon Coast for the 4th. Usually, we spend the 4th in Way Down In Mayberry and go to MeMa's house to light fireworks. You see, Way Down In Mayberry is banned from fireworks due to our proximity to the mountains. One spark and the whole town could go up in flames.
On the afternoon of the 4th of July, the family went to a fireworks stand and bought nearly every firework known to man. We then to our goods back to the hotel room where Leroy then carefully fingered each firework and explained to Izzy the color and boom-factor the particular cone had. Izzy was fascinated with this process and listened intently as MeMa and Leroy laboriously talked about each one. Leroy then put them in order for the fireworks show, saving the best for the finale.
Okay........has anyone been on the Oregon Coast in July? It's cold and we happened to be there on one of the windiest 4th of July's recorded.
Yes, that's Christian somewhere under there.
After dinner and around 9:30 pm, we schlepped down the 71 steps from our hotel room to the beach. Bubby had a lighter (which he was embarrassed to buy because he thought the Fred Meyer clerk would think that he smoked), and a bundle of fireworks.
Didi I mention it was windy?
Fast forward to an hour and 1/2 later. Bubby still flicking his lighter and me trying to keep the children from getting blown in to the ocean due to wind gusts.
Bubby decides he needs something like a punk to stay lit so he can successfully light the fireworks. Ooooooookay.
We trudge up the 71 steps again, hop into the car and head to the nearest gas station. Bubby asks the clerk, "Which stays lit longer....cigarettes or cigars?" "Cigars." the clerk said so Bubby bought the cheapest cigars they had....Swisher Sweets.
By the time we returned to the hotel, poor Leroy and Izzy asked to go to the hotel room to watch the fireworks. And for Leroy to ask to miss his ONE BIG DAY OF THE YEAR, the little guy must have been exhausted. They were so cold and tired that both of them were asleep before Bubby, Tori and Christian lit the first firework. Did I mention it was almost midnight?
The remaining three braved the cold and wind. Bubby had to smoke the cigars to keep them lit and they were able to successfully reach their goal. I did mention that Bubby doesn't smoke....right? When they returned from the beach, Bubby looked very, very green. He kept mentioning that he was going to throw up and something about licking a dead cat.
This Father will go to the end of the earth for his children.