As I’m mentioned in previous blogs, our ways of celebrating certain holidays and events has changed over the years. I’m sure it is the same for all families, but for us, it has been Michael’s understanding of the holiday that has shaped how we celebrate and what we do. As he has gotten older, he has begun to understand geography little more. He is still trying to understand about cities and countries, and enjoys celebrating a day like Canada Day with flags and a bit of fanfare. It doesn’t hurt that we usually take him to local family fair type events with bouncy rides, face painting and cotton candy as well. 🙂 Still, every year I look to how far he has come in understanding things and events. This fills me with a lot of hope for him, for his Dad and I, and for the human spirit as well.
When he was a baby it was like any other day. I had to have it that way as I was scared to take him to any event where unpredictable events happened and he was, well, unpredictable. It would have been ruined for all of us. Then, I was so busy with therapy, with working with him at home, that everything else took a back seat to fun. I started getting away from fun and was in danger of having it disappear from Michael’s life and ours. Fortunately with time and a group of great teachers that Michael had at that time, they reminded me that fun is what Michael needed to thrive, alongside what he was learning in preschool and therapy. I took the daring step to start having fun with my son again, to enjoying him as I would any child. A miraculous thing happened. I started to have fun myself. Michael helped me learn how to have fun again.
When we go to these family fairs I have just as much fun as Michael does watching him bounce on the inflatables, anticipating in the face painting line what design he will have on his face and watching him patiently wait in said line for over twenty minutes to get it done! You see, I used to be the one who would “show” him how to jump, act, what to do when he was confused what to do next. But, as I have learned recently, he was also showing me how to have fun and be a kid again at the same time. Even though now he does not need me to imitate the sounds other kids make in glee when they are running, jumping, moving, I silently make them. Even though he does not need me to play with him at these events I still silently play alongside him. In splash parks and pools I am occasionally still needed as a playmate if there is no friend, but all in all, my little guy is a happy participant in life and showing me, the spectator, how to channel my inner child. Thank you, Michael.
Exceptional Parents, how have celebrations like Canada Day changed for your family over the years? How has your Exceptional Child helped you see this and other holidays in a different way? Remember, while you are showing them things, they are also showing you how to live a life that is more open, more patient, more accepting of differences of thinking and being. Wishing all families a very Happy Canada Day! Until next time.