A typical day, I was on my way to pick the boy up from daycare. Per the usual, I make my way out to the playground where the kids are.
It was chaos, kids running screaming and hanging from the playscape like wild animals. All except for one kid, sitting on a towel, watching. All I can see is the back of his blonde head.
It is not like today is the first day I have seen him sitting there watching his peers run and play. But today it just hit me in the feels and not the good feels.
Walking closer, all I can notice is that Drew is not sad. He was full on belly laughing for his friends. Clapping and ordering them to jump off the slide.
I do not know why, but this made me sad.
I mean here he is having a great time watching others have fun. What if he could do that? How much fun is he being denied?
Later that evening, I had taken the boy to what we call “Motor Clinic” at the University of Georgia. The department of Kinesiology offers a class for individuals with motor deficits to come and play in ways that can foster development.
Now, we will pause this story to allow everyone a minute to google “Kinesiology”.
Living in a college town has a lot of perks for special needs families. I can do a series of blogs on why. I will spare you today, just trust me on this one.
While Drew was playing, I was still all up in my self-loathing feels. I spoke to another mom who has a son, older than Drew, but shared many of the same deficits.
When I told her that he was so happy simply watching others play, she looked right at me and said,
“that seems like a you problem and not a Drew problem.”
Well damn. Why don’t you just come out and say it, Karen (her name was not Karen. My sincere apology to any actual people named Karen who may have been disrespected)
Whether intentional or not, this may be one of the most amazing pieces of advice I have ever received.
Who am I to decide what should make Drew happy? Why am I applying my benchmark for happy on Drew? He is fully capable of deciding what makes him happy, not me.
I guess in the end, it is natural for us to want to apply our own lens upon another individual’s vision. We, including myself, need to stop this as it serves no purpose.