This weekend just past was a hectic one.
Well… to be honest it’s been a hectic year. Or few.
5 children to care for, NDIS forms and appointment, therapies, doctors appointments, transition days for both high school and kindergarten, keeping on top of my Diploma studies, renovating a house, hubby often on the road with work and my sudden life threatening condition that landed me in hospital on a ventilator.
And not to mention it’s nearly Christmas!
It’s been exhausting!
Despite the challenges we’ve been facing, we decided to throw a birthday party for our second eldest who just turned 10. Why not have a little bit of fun?
The party was was held at an Indoor sports centre with inflatable play equiptment/ jumping castles.
We had (including our own), invited a total of 17 kids.
Boy was I in for a treat! ????
On arrival, the place was packed, our table not ready, it was soooo hot and my biggest challenge yet….
The one thing that I had dreaded.
My son would not go in! He pulled away, sat down, rocked and completely freaked out. My heart sunk.
You see, my beautiful 7 yr old son at 2 yrs of age was diagnosed with non verbal, level 3 Autism along with global development delay, ADHD and sensory disorders.
This of course makes outings as a family pretty tricky. He doesn’t like to go to unknown places, crowded places, noisy places etc. He ends up in complete meltdown mode.
And not to mention is a bit of a Houdini. He can run as fast as Flash!
Of course that means often my partner or I are excluded from events to stay home and take care of him.
But this was a family affair. I needed us all together.
He had his earmuffs, there was plenty of food (he loooves food) and he loves trampolines and jumping castles so I figured we were covered.
We finally got him inside. But of course the fun was only beginning….
The stares. Oh my… the stares!
The feeling of being watched and judged. The “tsk tsk“ of the onlookers. The feeling that you have now become centre of attention in a crowded place….is horrid!!!
Here I am trying to run a party of what felt like a million kids on my own. ( I did have my parents and sisters there and for that I’m eternally grateful) and hubby was chasing around the two yr old.
But even with HELP I am trying to dish out cake, get drinks, clean up mess, keep an eye on on all the kids that are now completely spread out all over the joint, as well as chasing a 7 yr old whose running like there’s no tomorrow.
It’s one thing to throw a party for a bunch of kids, and another to do that AND look after a severely autistic child.
The strength of a child in flight mode is crazy. I’m sure there’s a few more bruises I’ve collected.
Things were feeling impossible. I felt my anxiety rising. I didn’t know If I was doing anything right. I was feeling defeated.
Despite the fact the kids were having a blast, I felt defeated, judged and exhausted.
But then something happened. Something I truly wasn’t expecting!
Sonething that honestly changed the rest of the day for me and is still making an impact days later.
The mother of one of the little boys at our party, said something I will never forget.
She told me that she was watching me with my son and that I was doing really well. I was so good with him. (Although I felt I looked like I had no clue what I was doing and struggling under the pressure).
She knew it was a challenge and I was doing all I could. She wanted me to know I was doing ok. She wanted me to know she could see how much I tried. She said she needed to tell me because it is nice to hear that sometimes.
And that’s it. A few simple words that to me meant EVERYTHING! It changed MY WHOLE day!
It made my heart soar!
It validated everything I work so tirelessly for.
It made me realise that no matter how hard it can be, I CAN do it!
It made me realise that although there are those people who are uneducated and judgemental, there are also those who see your struggles, know the challenges and know you are doing your very best.
It made me continue that party in a calmer, confident matter.
I ignored the eagle eyed stares. I forgot the judgmental opinions of the other partygoers and I enjoyed myself!!!!
Even now, days later, the impact is profound! My confidence in my ability to care for him and do what I need to has risen. I know I’m doing ok. I’m trying and that’s all that matters.
And we we all need that!! Special needs parents or not. ALL parents need to hear that sometimes.
Parenting is tough. It really is.
This one act of kindness. One seemingly simple thing has taught me how far a kind word can go towards promoting acceptance and building confidence in another person.
Its not hard to give a smile, compliment someone or let them know you “see them” and they are doing great!
That might be all they need to change their outlook and mindset at that very moment.
We should all be kinder. We really should!
Because you never know how much just a few kind words can really help someone.
You never know just what impact your kind words could really have.
A few kind words could mean EVERYTHING to another person. Your impact could be profound
Posted by kristyrich, 5th December 2018