our family's adventures with autism and eosinophilic esophagitis
Monday, May 20, 2013
6 Year Old Birthday Party!
Saturday was Tallulah's best Birthday Party ever. For the first time we invited a lot of kids from school and out of the 20 invites we sent I think we had about 17 or 18 kids come. I kind of lost count with siblings and last minute rsvps. I actually had to run out and buy a few more things just before the party because I was afraid we would run out with so many more kids than we were planning on. For other Birthdays the most we have ever had is 4 or 5 other kids besides my own. And we have never had anyone drop their kids off with us before. That was a totally new experience. I was a little nervous because I didn't know most of these kids or their parents, but Madison, Lu's one-on-one school aide, told me that the kids who came were pretty much Lu's little gang at school, with some brothers and sisters along.
It's hard to express how happy it makes me to know that she has a little gang at school who looks out for her and wants to hold her hand on the way from homeroom to art or recess or whatever and who want to sit all around her at circle and movie time. I was really impressed with all of these kids. They were all so considerate and patient and totally awesome. They formed themselves into a line for the pony rides, they abided by the limits we set on how many kids could get on the trampoline and one would get off when another one wanted to get on. But mostly, they were just so nice to my kids. Several times during the party I kind of started to tear up.
Back when Lu was first diagnosed I remember talking to the psychologist who gave us the diagnosis about friendships and meaningful relationships and she told me that it is likely that those human interactions that mean so much to me could very well hold little to no meaning for her. That was one of the hardest ideas for me to grasp and I have always wanted to find ways to encourage friendships without going total psycho mom on someone else's kid insisting that they be best friends with my daughter.
I try not to push this at all because I would hate for Lu to experience social rejection before getting a chance to experience real friendship. We all experience rejection at some point in our lives. I still remember early grade school snubs from when we moved several times within just a couple of years and I was the new kid over and over. My main difference was just that I came in during the middle of a school year when everyone else already had their friendships established and I didn't know anyone.
For my kids the differences are greater, and the work of making friends, that much harder. It's nice to know that there are special kids out there who will go the extra mile to be friends with awesome and quirky kids like mine. I also think that both Dahanna and the school aides helped a lot at the start of the year to get kids interested in interacting with Lu. They have also taught these kids a lot about autism as I learned from a conversation with one very earnest little 6 year old who wanted to know why Tallulah's sister has autism too. But we are now at the end of the school year and it is great to see that there are kids who still genuinely want to be her friend.
At the end of the day when we were putting the kids to bed I asked Lu if she had a good Birthday and she gave me the thumbs up and whispered, 'Good Birthday' with a sleepy smile. I didn't get a picture of that, but here is Myffy pegged out early in the hammock in the back yard. All in all, it was the best Birthday Party yet.