Jsack's Mom's Blog

Welcome to my blog where I share my special needs parenting journey with my heart, truth, and love, one story at a time. ❤️

The birthday party

I was so excited when my son received an invitation to his new friends birthday party. Having a child with autism, ADHD, and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) birthday parties can be a double edge sword. Firstly, there’s the question of is he going to to be invited to any parties and secondly, do I stay for the party to assist him when he needs help?

The day arrived and I had done all the preparations with my son with a social story, drawing out a schedule, and keeping my visuals handy in case plans had changed. He was quite excited and I needed to drive around the block a couple of times till he can process his feelings.

We arrived at the birthday boys house and was met at the door by the parents. I explained I would stay for 30 minutes until my son felt comfortable then I would quietly leave. I knew I’d be the only parent there as by the age of 6 or 7 it’s a drop off and pick up event.

I haven’t been able to do that with my son in a neurotypical setting there’s a lot of variables to consider. Is the birthday fun going to be too overstimulating for him, will he understand that he can’t open the presents, and lastly will he understand when it’s time to leave.

I sat quietly on the couch making small talk with the parents and surveyed the yard where a nerf gun war was taking place. I had to firmly and directly tell my son the rules as he wasn’t interested in leaving the well stocked toy room. He eventually made it outside and joined in the fun that the other guests were having.

I didn’t want to be that type of parent helicoptering around my son son so I made myself as inconspicuous as possible. With the play getting more intense I could see my sons eyes glaze over and I knew it was time to switch to another activity. That didn’t work out so well so I joined in with playing a football game and hoping my son would want to play as well.

The distraction worked and we were happily tossing the ball back and forth when it was time to come in to have snacks and open presents. My son wasn’t interested in eating but I had begged him to have some carrots as it will fill his sensory seeking need once the game was cut short.

All the kids gathered around and off my son disappeared to a bedroom to have some quiet time. I followed behind him to let him know I was there to help him and the kids were watching the gift opening. He had no interest in me being there or seeing the presents. He asked me to leave and said “I’m fine Mom I got this.”

As I prepared to leave I gave the parents my contact info in case I was needed earlier before pickup. My sons words of I’m fine echoed in my ears as I drove away. I prayed he would be as I wasn’t even close to being okay with leaving him behind.

I spent some time with my older son and then it was time to pick up his brother. I had made sure that I gave him 10 minutes to prepare himself to leave as I followed him to get his shoes and goodie bag. I set the timer on my phone and stood at the door as he got ready to go. As I turned to thank the family for having him at the party he bolted!

Luckily it was within the house and I could get to him quickly. I knew he was having a hard time with transitioning from leaving the party so I remained calm. He professed how he didn’t want to go and I told him all the reasons why we had to leave. I was doing my best to allow him time to process and reached for his hand only to be shot in the throat with a nerf gun.

I was taken aback and started coughing as I unprepared for that impact to my vocal chords. Much to my dismay this whole scene of me chasing him to get the gun and get him out the door was witnessed by all the guests in attendance. I’ve come to a point where I’ve been judged for my parenting that I only care about my child not others opinions.

In that moment I wanted to save my son from any future scenes of chaos and I have pulled him along and carried him out the door. I learned from this experience as it was the only thing I could do in order to help my son. Now I make sure we have a game plan in place and keep the party time to no more than 2 hours.

If things go south as my son reacts to transitioning I have my phone as timer, a little white board so I can draw out the plan ahead of time, and another activity to do as soon as we leave. As I reflect back I know now I was caught up with my son fitting in with his classmates and be like all the other typical kids.

Neurodiversity allows for thinking outside the box and my son is all about doing that in his own way with his stellar imagination. I realized that my need for him to be comfortable at the party spoke volumes about my fear of the unknown.

Now I meet my son where he’s at and time has proven to be the best teacher as well as steadfast love. If I focus on the things he can’t do like stay at a birthday party without me, then how will I celebrate the successes he has that he’s achieved in his own.

I’m happy to say there’s been other birthday parties and he’s felt comfortable enough to ask me to stay or ask to leave if it’s too sensory overwhelming for him. He’s grown and changed so much since that first birthday party and I know no matter what obstacle he faces he’ll be fine, and he’s got this.

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To my love on his birthday 

Today is a special day it’s my husband’s birthday! I know this day is very special to me, because he was born to become my love, and my life. I’ve known my husband for a long time, as he went to school with my sister. I’ve wrote about our love story here, but today I write about why I love him so much. 

You can really discover a lot about a person when you’ve known them for thirty years. Yes that’s 3-0, three decades of crushing on him and his smile that still makes the butterflies float in my tummy. My belly that housed our precious son’s and my body that nourished them through nearly 10 years of marriage. This love of mine has never wavered, for as long as I’ve known him I wanted to be his one and only. 

 

 Now he slumbers peacefully as I’m too excited to sleep and need to write this. I adore him so much, when others saw a little punk kid trying to look grown up; he saw the real me batting my blue eyes. I only told my Mom and Gram of my crush on him. I wouldn’t even tell my sister for fear I might get teased. If you have an older sibling you know what I’m writing about. 
My Mom and Gram would never tell my secret and I never would tell my love either. Well, until many years ago when after a few drinks shared I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm for the truth! I was only 12 when we met that fateful and happy day at a hockey game. He was 17 playing hockey and ready to graduate. I didn’t care though I saw him and he captured my interest and my heart. 

It didn’t matter what our age difference was I believed if it was meant to be it would. He moved away right after graduation but I kept tabs on him through mutual friends. Then I found out he moved away to another province and I moved there as well before graduation. I tried to find him but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Then I moved back to my hometown to cure myself from my homesickness and graduate with my friends. 

I found out through my cousin that my love had moved back too! I kept a low profile as I was preparing for exams. I still had an interest in seeing him after all those years. I had done some growing up of my own and I wasn’t that kid sister anymore. Then as fate would have it he literally walked back into my life. It was at a friend’s birthday party and I was bouncing and battening  and making sure my friend’s apartment wasn’t getting trashed. Then I see him and all my care taking and “Mother henning behaviour flew out the window! My heart was captured once again and this time I wasn’t letting this prize winning catch go. We stayed up the rest of the night talking, laughing, and yes even sobering up. 

He had to go to work the next day and I had to clean up after the party. We parted ways but we’re content on seeing each other again. Back to school and reality, and phone numbers exchanged and no phone calls were made. Well I did some serious thinking and praying and a week later I called him. I was excited and nervous so I made the date to meet some friends at the theatre. 

That date was a lifetime ago and I still remember it like it was yesterday. What I wore, the smell of his cologne, and the movie we watched. My mind and my heart will never forget that first tender, soft, kiss that left me with all the romantic stereotypes. Weak in the knees, butterflies, and breathless and wanting more! That’s what happens when two energies collide, pure pulsating magic. 

  
It wasn’t always easy as there were naysayers on both sides of the coin that said we would never last. And here we are outlasting a lot of those marriages that came to be before ours. I still remember the best compliment we ever received was from my husband’s aunt. 

“I would never know you were together for a long time. It’s like you both just met and have fallen in love and it’s a privilege to witness that.”

I will never forget that compliment nor the 200 people who came out to celebrate on our wedding day. To my husband, my heart, twin soul, and lover for life. Happy birthday and  thank you for blessing mine and our sweet son’s life with your love. You are loved, respected, and appreciated and are our gift to have everyday. ❤️ 

  


 

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