March 10, 2014


I took my buddy to a birthday party this weekend. I thought it was for a kindergarten friend, but as I looked closer, I realized it was for a preschool friend. It can be confusing with my buddy being in two grades at once. Anyway, I was relieved that it was a preschool friend because he has more in common with that age group. So off we went to an indoor jumpy party.

We were the first group there, so it was nearly empty in the beginning. My buddy ran from one thing to another having a blast. He would get frustrated when he couldn't climb one, so I'd kick off my shoes and force him to try with my help. Once he got it, he was doing so great. I was proud of his physical ability.

Then another party started and open play as well. Before I knew it the place was crowded and loud. One of my buddy's preschool friends started playing rough with him - wrestling and pulling my buddy down. More than once, I kicked off my shoes and climbed into a bouncy to speak to the boy and stop my buddy from hitting him. My buddy started getting really frustrated and angry. He lets out this primal scream and just hits and kicks anyone nearby. So I scooped him up (haha. sounds so simple but he was in a bouncy not wanting to be picked up and he's 50 pounds) We headed out to the lobby for some quiet.

Then it was time to sit in the party room and eat pizza (which my buddy won't eat). He only wanted to pull the Angry Birds decoration off the top of the cake and he was losing his mind. So I decided to cut my losses and head home. We said Happy Birthday and Thank You. I forced myself not to apologize yet I still couldn't look all the other parents in the face. I don't want to see the look of pity or relief that it's me and not them.

I've been listening to parents of older kids feeling sad that their kid with Ds doesn't have the social life they want.  How their child doesn't get the invites to come over and hang out with the other kids. It can be hard thinking about years and years of adjusting our expectations and, lets face it, adjusting our life to accommodate my buddy's needs. But then he puts on fairy wings and a frilly skirt and runs around the house with joyful abandon... and that joy is so great.

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