We decided to get the family out of the city and breathe a little, so we went up to Mount Laguna. Seeing as they had a fair bit of snow the past two days there was a very nice amount on the ground.
TJ started getting a little upset halfway up the mountain as he saw snow and wanted out. He luckily didn't go into a full meltdown, but he did get pretty antsy and start getting a little destructive.
Once we arrived we had to get him to put his jacket on, which is a particular challenge as he has major sensory issues with items that have zippers (on himself or others, though we've MOSTLY gotten him to accept zippers on others). Opening the van to the outside air solved that issue much more easily than we expected! What is normally a complete meltdown and absolute nogo turned into, if not cooperation, acceptance of the zipper.
Once we got out of the van all was forgiven and smiles as bright as the sun reflecting off the snow were on display. Turns out TJ isn't shy, either! Every time I tried to put the camera down or take a shot of something besides him he would grab it and point it at himself again!
TJ was so overwhelimingly happy he gave Junko and Sana big hugs. That's a huge deal as contact with him is usually far less direct.
Pardon the grey hair; the last couple of years have really done a number there!
TJ then found someone's snowman, ripped the head off, and demanded that Sana help him destroy the rest. She happily obliged (any excuse to be destructive...).
After it was all knocked over he finished the job by stomping it all flat. I apologize for not having any better pictures; I was laughing too hard at how seriously he was taking this.
In all seriousness it was a good reminder for those of us who live and interact with people with autism that they don't necessarily think the same way we do. Things that are unimportant to us can mean the absolute world to them, and things that would normally be super important might mean nothing to them. More than most people you really have to get to know an autistic person to understand what they value. In this case he disliked the half finished nature and wanted it destroyed (he left several fully finished ones alone, so that's my best interpretation).
Junko had put together a nice Japanese style picnic lunch with rice balls, a tamago (egg) roll, edamame, sausages, and pickled veggies for her and Sana. Since I'm on the keto diet I ate turkey and cheddar cubes, and TJ ate his normal milk and snacks. We are still not pushing him to vary his diet as the chemo causes complications to the already complex autistic preferences and we have his nutrition locked in for now. Eventually we will need to expand, but for now it's just getting him to eat the calories he needs.
On the drive home TJ had a great nap and the rest of us relaxed for a nice, calm drive. Thankfully there were no issues when we got home and he happily went into the house to play. We are honestly grateful to have had a nice family day out that everyone enjoyed and had no major issues.