The month of failed mainstreaming and one terribly distressed little boy. The month we lost SSI/Medicaid. The month of illnesses, financial disaster, and so much fruitless fighting.
I sat down this morning to write this post and my chair broke. I broke a damned chair.
So apparently it’s been a month of (over)eating too.
It. Just. Needs. To. End.
Yesterday, I took EB to Chuck E. Cheese’s. While we were eating our pizza (okay, I was dunking mine in Ranch dressing if you must know) we watched another child’s birthday party.
Chuck E. came out, there was singing, clapping, candle blowing. The child was probably 5 or 6.
EB cheered and sang and was mesmorized by the event.
I asked if he might like to have his birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s.
He replied yes.
So I asked him which friends he wanted to invite.
He paused thoughtfully and said, “I think Mrs. H would come.” (One of his teachers assistants at school).
I said, “Yes, I bet she would. What other people?”
He listed several other names. All adults. All love him dearly. Yet, all paid for the time they spend with him.
My eyes brimmed with tears.
I thought maybe he didn’t understand. Maybe he was thinking only about grown ups.
I asked more pointedly, “What kids would you like to invite?”
Another thoughtful pause.
“I don’t know”, he said quietly. ”What about you and Dad?”
I had to stop. Partially because I was choking back tears. Partially because I didn’t want to push him any further and risk him realizing that he really didn’t have anyone to invite. And partly because Chuck E. was heading our way and EB was clearly (and gratefully) distracted.
In years past we’ve just invited lots of kids from the Autism community, and kids from Pre-K too. Kindergarten is different. I don’t think he really knows anyone well enough to consider them a friend.
He seems okay with it. Which begs the question as to why I’m not.
Am I projecting my hopes and expectations onto him? Should I be forcing something that should just come naturally?
We have three months to figure out our game plan. I’m sure I can pull together a great group of kids. I’m just not sure if it’s more for me or for him.
I do wish that I could make the world look past the emotional and social struggles he has and embrace him
despite because regardless of his differences.
I guess we still have a long way to go in the fight for inclusion.