Austin had his Cattle Congress working exhibit today with his Paint Bags. We were so unprepared I felt awful. My days just fly by and I didn't realize what time it was, so we got a bit of a late start.
We got all the way to Cattle Congress before I realized that we needed more quart bags. So, I dropped Austin off with my mom. He had 17 baggies with him to get him started and he needed to be there in 10 minutes to set up, so I was hoping that was enough to get him started. Then I flew to the nearest store that I thought would have ziploc bags and found a Dollar General. My sister realized half way to DG that I might have tossed a majority of paint into the van before leaving, which meant it was at home. So, thankfully, there was a Hobby Lobby right there and I whipped in there quickly and picked up $40 worth of Tempura paint. Got back to CC and thankfully, he had enough supplies to get himself started, but we quickly realized we forgot the baby wipes, which are crucial because people need to clean off their hands after they make one (they are working with paint). Thankfully, Shawna was willing to run out to the truck and grab a bag of wipes I had in there for the babies (who wonderfully stayed home with Daddy!). So all was not a total loss, but I still felt like we just threw this one together and he would end up with a "participation" ribbon because of my lack of preparation. The worst part was I totally forgot my camera...and I take that everywhere. I was very disappointed in myself for that one.
We went quickly through Wendy's and inhaled lunch and got back to CC for the awards, only to find that they were running behind. So Austin and I enjoyed a tuba solo, soprano solo, performance by three young ladies, and another solo before they got to the awards. Aidan went with Shawna and her kids and my mom to the petting zoo for all of this.
Finally they had the awards and Austin received an award of Excellence!!! I am so proud of him. The only "good" mark (rather than excellent) on his evaluation form was "needed help with clean up." That was my fault, I thought he had to get torn down quickly, so I helped him clean up. Next time, I know to stay back again. I was so happy our lack of prep didn't show up there!
The best part of the day was when Austin and I were walking over to the petting zoo to get everyone to head back home. Austin reached for my hand and held my hand all the way across the grounds. He let go a couple of times for some reason and picked it back up. I realize this seems odd to most everyone, but this was awesome for him. Due to his Asperger's, he hates to be touched and he has to initiate all contact. This means I rarely get hugs, never get kisses, and he doesn't show much affection at all. But I am resigned to this because I know that it physically hurts him and he just doesn't understand what it means to me. So for him to do this was incredibly special. When he does give me hugs or says "I love you" back to me (which is even more rare), those moments are much more special because of what they mean. I guess in the long run, I would much rather have him only say or do these things rarely and have them mean something very special than have him say them all the time and lose meaning because of it. It was also very nice to get time alone with him, because that so rarely happens anymore.