For Coleby’s 9th Birthday this year, he got tickets to the Wiggles and to Disney On Ice: Frozen.
Today it was Wiggles time!
He was so excited!
So this was a massive step for us both…
I used to stay home a lot. Never went anywhere with Coleby. If I was invited anywhere I would make up excuses so I didn’t have to go to Birthday parties, the park, friends houses for play dates, friends dinner parties/BBQs. Whatever the event, I would not go.
I was wrong!
I was holding Coleby back!
I was self fish!
All because I didn’t want to take Coleby somewhere where he was looked at as being different or I would be judged as a parent who wasn’t coping or because I didn’t want to explain to everyone including random strangers ‘what was wrong with my son’.
It’s hard to realize that you as his mother are actually the one that is treating Coleby different and holding him back from being an everyday kid!
This was up until Coleby was about 3…
A friend of mine asked me and Coleby to go to the park with her and her son. As usual, I made up some random excuse as to why we couldn’t go.
I could hear a change in her voice. It was more of an attitude like ‘whatever’.
About 15-20 mins later there was a knock on the door.
It was my friend and her little boy.
She and her son had come over to see what was really going on. She said ‘if you won’t come to the park we will come to you’.
Our boys were about 2 years a part. Coleby had only been walking for about 8 or 9 months, he couldn’t ride a bike or a scooter, he wasn’t interested in any TV shows or movies, he basically just sat there playing with his baby toys such as a rattle and a set of keys.
The difference between our kids was very noticeable!
My friend again suggested we go to the park. I couldn’t say anything but ‘not today’.
Did she keep pushing me for a reason as to why?
Finally, she broke me…..
Because look at us!
We aren’t like you!
My kid isn’t like yours!
My kid can’t do anything like yours!
Coleby cries all the time!
I don’t want to be stared at!
I can’t go anywhere!
By this time I am a crying mess!
She said ‘you can’t hide forever’ You are doing a great job. I don’t know how you are doing it but you are. Coleby is perfect in every way! You have never worried about what other people have thought before so why now!
To which I replied ‘because I am protecting him’
My friend cried with me… we talked a lot, about everything. It was good to be able to talk to someone about how I felt and not be worried about what she thought or worried that I am losing it and not coping…
At this point, our attention was drawn to the lounge room…
To the magical sound of a child’s laughter!
Coleby was cracking up laughing! My friend’s son was pretending to be a car and making a car noise. Coleby thought it was hilarious!
That is when I knew that I was making a mistake and holding Coleby back.
From that point on…
I never said ‘No’ to anything that we were invited to or anything I wanted to take him to!
From birthday parties to Tupper ware parties and dinners to market days.
We went to all of it!
So after 6 years of….
attending events with my son and socializing him around different groups of people! Today we went to the Wiggles!
I don’t care that he was probably the only 9-year-old there amongst hundreds of little kids!
He was so excited!
He lined up!
He sat down!
He sang his little heart out!
He danced like no one was watching!
And the best thing ever….
He smiled and had the time of his life!!
That makes me so happy and I loved sharing this with him.
So please don’t ever be scared to take your child with special needs to anything. Kids are Kids. They really don’t know anything is different unless you as an adult treat them different,
Kids that tease special needs children are just kids that haven’t been exposed to anything different and are the ones missing out on meeting kids with big personalities and even bigger hearts!