by Richard Meade
Spearman School Area, January 15, 2015 – Thursday was cold and overcast with temperatures in the low 40’s and a slight breeze, not a typical day for any child to go out and play. But Ariel, age 3 and not a typical child, was excited and ready to go outside to see her new pirate ship playhouse which was built specially for her by the Make-A-Wish® Foundation.
You could see the excitement in Ariel’s eyes and hear her small voice expressing eagerness to go outside. Excitement also spread to a crowd which had assembled inside the house and out in the back yard waiting to see Ariel’s reaction. (The crowd included friends, family, Make-A-Wish staff, a nurse, church friends, an early interventionist and others.)
There were pirate hats, masks, balloons and a pirate cake because “Ariel loves pirates” her Grandmother Kathy Barker said.
As Ariel was rolled down the long ramp toward the big pirate ship with a black pirate flag flying over the bow, it was obvious that the big playhouse met her approval. The playhouse includes a ramp so she can be rolled up to the main deck and access the helm, a slide, three swings with one designed for Ariel’s frail frame.