Sensory Overload

Saturday morning, when I should have been sleeping or watching “Batman: Brave and the Bold” (this week was the tragic Doom Patrol episode), I found myself driving to Forest Park for the Walk Now for Autism Speaks rally.

We arrived around 9 a.m. and were lucky to find a parking spot — always a tricky issue at Forest Park. By the time we had walked from the parking lot to the Muny where the event was to begin, I was done with walking — especially thanks to the steep hill one must climb to get to the Muny lot.

Once we got to the top of the hill — holy crap, that was a lot of people. Apparently every other person in St. Louis has autism. Looking over the mob I figured we would never find our team. Turned out the school had a booth and that’s where we hooked up.

There was all kinds of stuff going on — bounce houses, a giant bubble machine, The Wife and Son got to pet a Clydesdale — and with the crowd it seemed like the kind of thing that would drive people with sensory overload issues crazy. And yet I didn’t see anyone having a meltdown. I was considering it though. I’m old and need to sit after a while and there were no chairs in the parking lot.

Sometime after 10 a.m. the masses began walking the prescribed route. It was a much longer route than I was expecting, or at least it felt long. It was definitely longer than the last walk we did. It was also unseasonably warm for October. But we survived.

After the walk there was free lunch — hot dog, chips, water, orange. I figured it wouldn’t be worth the waiting in line, but there were no lines. Very efficient. We finally got to sit down — on the ground under a tree — and enjoyed our food. Sadly the Ben and Jerry’s tent ran out of ice cream before we got there, so we headed home.

And that was just the start of the day.

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