We got to swing together in the gym. Ainsley joined us for a treasure hunt for pirates's gold and he is getting SO good at pushing the shopping cart around with his left hand. The therapy dog, Chivas, stopped by again today and Ainsley got to see him this time. She is a total dog lover. Ben takes a while to warm up to new dogs but did eventually. The therapy dogs are through a program called Hand in Paw and they are absolutely amazing! These dogs do awesome tricks that are really tailored to what the kids are doing. They encourage Ben to use his left hand to hide treats in a puzzle for Chivas to find. They even have co-flex on the puzzle pieces like we use in therapy. And they visit over 80 places in the Birmingham area so I can only imagine all the things these dogs do!
After therapy today we went to lunch at Ted's Cafeteria which is right down the block from Children's on 3rd where therapy is. Woah. This food was ahhhh-mazing. Chicken strips, fried okra, cabbage, mashed potatoes, corn muffins, other-foods-I-couldn't-identify-but-I'm-sure-were-delicious. It was SO good. And the people were so kind!
Then we stopped by the 16th Street Baptist Church. This was the one place my mom really wanted to visit. We didn't get to do a tour because they don't do tours on Mondays but she ended up getting a pseudo-tour from a homeless man who actually grew up in the area (or so he said). And yes, I was in the car with the kids and my mom just wandered off with a homeless man. She returned in one piece and gave him a tip for the tour which he promised not to spend on drugs or alcohol ;)
Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested here and then wrote his famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Right here, people!
How eery is it that in this picture my mom took there's a hearse driving by?
I'm going to pause for a second here because I'm clearly teasing some about the homeless man because what a stereotypical situation. But I honestly think he will use it for his homeless shelter fee like he said he would, he seemed genuinely kind. SO many people here have asked us about Ben because of his cast and apparently we stick out somehow (maybe the lack of accent) but we've told the short version of our story to multiple people in stores and restaurants and so many kind strangers have said they'll be praying for us. That is so moving to me and it really just restores my faith in humanity.