The Yin and the Yang

Let me try to explain this factually before I go into how I feel.  We went to a birthday party for one of G’s classmate’s yesterday.  It was a craft themed party at the community art center.  When we walked into the foyer the noise from the party flowed down the hall and G stopped in his tracks.  He wanted to go home but we coaxed him into waiting in the foyer before he made a decision.  Dh got us plates of food and we settled onto the floor to eat.  A boy in G’s class saw us sitting there and got his dad to get him a plate of food and sat with us.  The boys decided to join the party and walked down the hall.  When G got to the door he stopped, covered his ears with his hands and backed up to the foyer again.  He tried two other times and on the third try, he was able to enter the party room.  I quickly got him settled in with a play-dough craft to get him focused on something other than the chaos.  G did quite well the rest of the afternoon.  He ate his weight in pizza, had fun with the balloons, loved the pinata and ran around with the other boys without getting too rough.

So here’s where my conflict starts.  Some moments I am over the moon with excitement.  G successfully joined the party!  G had a friend that cared enough to sit with him!  He ran around with the other boys!  He was very well behaved!  He started a game with the helium balloons where he’d yank on the ribbon and count how many times he could punch the balloon.  The other boys grabbed balloons and started punching them too (although without the counting part).  He had a lot of fun and talked about what he did at the party all evening.  We haven’t been able to go to a children’s party, school event or parade in more than 2 years.  This is was a monumental event!!

Other moments I am low with dispair.  Other children have no problems walking into a party.  Other parents don’t spend 30-45 minutes sitting on a cold floor trying to coax their child into having fun.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem supporting my child in whatever manner it takes, I’m just sad that it is hard for him to start something I know will be fun for him.    For other families, a chidren’s birthday party is a normal weekend activity and would never be referred to as monumental.  When he was running around with the boys, he was joining in their fun, but he wasn’t talking to them.  In fact, I think the only time he spontaneously spoke to another child is when he yelled at one for hitting at the pinata before it was time for that activity.  The entire afternoon really pointed out the differences between my son and other 4 year olds.

I find myself cycling through the highs and lows with dizzying speed.  I am so proud of G for what he was able to accomplish.  But I am also grappling with the reality that is to be our life.

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Published in: on February 25, 2008 at 6:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

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