Saturday, March 21, 2015

St. Patricks Day....a bit late!

I've never been one that was big into celebrating St. Patricks Day.  Not a drop of Irish blood in me (50% Polish and 50% Lithuanian).  Back in the day when I did party a lot I never really needed an excuse.  Getting off work was enough for me.  I never wanted to go down to Chicago (I lived between Chicago and Milwaukee...great for hitting concerts on a regular basis) to spend the day drinking green beer and looking at the Chicago River which is usually pretty damn green to start with.  So the only plans I had for St. Patricks Day were a Dr. appointment in the morning and going to the Special Needs Interest fair in the evening.  I went to my Dr. appointment and was told that my eardrum was retracted and allergies are already kicking my butt.  One kenelog shot later and some tweaking to my allergy meds I was outta there.  I got home and was just getting ready to practice some crocheting and the phone rang.  I was my sister asking me if I ever bother to answer my cell.  Um, not when I'm driving or in the Dr's office.  Nope!  She asked me if I wanted to go to lunch for corned beef and cabbage.  I tried to get out of it by my nephew pulled the "Aunt Sawah.... please!!!" card.  So I told my sister that I'd be at her house in 30 minutes.  I get there and my nephew is all decked out in green.  I'll update this post and add photos this weekend.  He was wearing this cute shirt that said "Irish I was a Ninja!".  So cute and so very him as he's completely ninja obsessed at the moment!  We get in my sisters van and head out.  The place we were going to was about 30 minutes away.  I thought my sister had been there before and realized quickly that she hadn't.  If you don't remember from our Chicago trip a couple of months ago my sister DOES NOT do well when only having her GPS to rely on.  She's very type A and it messes with her need to be in complete control.  So we're driving through basically farm land for 25 minutes of this trip.  We're chatting as my nephew is watching Busy Town movies.  My sister had heard about this place from a guy she went to high school with.  He had warned her that while the food is excellent the service is pretty shitty.  Forewarned is forearmed, right?  Anyway we finally get to where we're going and I realize it's a pub.  I look at my sister and ask her if we're even allowed to take my 4 year old nephew into this place.  I then look at my nephew and jokingly tell him to tell anyone that asks that he's 21.  I then ask him how old he is and he says "4".  I then remind him of the 21 thing.  Next time I ask how old he is he replies "21".  My sister and I were totally cracking up.  We walk in and sit down .  The girl comes over and asks us what we want to drink.  You should have seen her face when we said water.  Hey we had a 30 minute drive to my sisters house and I had a 20 minute drive to get home after that.  Not wanting to tempt the fates water definitely seemed like the better part of valor.  Then all of a sudden my nephew looks at her and says "I'm 21!".  The kid definitely makes me laugh!  The corned beef and cabbage was very good but not as good as my mom's.

That evening was the Special Needs Interest Fair.  This event is held annually but things don't change that much as far as local resources go so I only go every few years.  This year PB's school was making  a push for the kids to go as well.  PB wanted her grandparents to attend as well.  My mom was willing to go but my dad wasn't game.  I saw a few friends while I was there.  I haven't seen my friend Darnell or her husband and son since the fall.  They all live on a farm in Lowpoint.  I love going out there for a day and visiting.  I just don't like going to visit in winter.  Darnell and I have been good friends since we met when our kids were little and we starting running the special needs parents support group at our local Easter Seals.  Darnell has been having some pretty significant health issues and has a major surgery coming up.  Unfortunately we didn't get to visit long.  Her son Eddie has severe auditory sensory issues and the room that the event was held in was huge, very loud and noisy.  They had just gotten there and Eddie just couldn't deal.  Her surgery isn't for another month so I'm hoping that PB and I can go visit for a day.  PB loves chasing the chickens!  I also saw my friend Erica.  She is another mom that I met through the Easter Seals parent support group. 

That night after everything was down and I was thinking about my day it struck me that most of my friends now are other moms of special needs kids.  In some ways its a very sad realization.  I wouldn't trade this friendships with these ladies for anything but it's still a bit sad.  A sad club to be a part of.  None of us would give up or change our kids in any way.  That's not what I'm saying.  It's just very common for special needs parents to lose their friendships with parents of "normal" or "regular" kids.  They just don't seem to understand what your going through.  Life with special needs kiddos is always changing based on how they child is feeling.  It's very isolating.  It's so hard to cancel plans with someone when you know that they don't understand why you're canceling the plans.  I remember once I had to call a dear friend and tell her that PB wouldn't be coming to her child's birthday party.  I know it's a pain in the butt when you've tried to figure out how much food and cake you need.  How many goody bags you need to put together.  Unfortunately her childs party was to be held in her backyard.  PB has no control over her body temperature.  Hot days are super hard for her.   The day of the birthday party it was in the mid 80s.  There is no way that PB would have been able to be outside for more than a few minutes.  It feels lousy to say "I'm so sorry.  It's just too hot to risk it.  I'll drop off X's gift this week.  Thanks for the invite though!". 

I guess the reason I'm sharing this is because being a parent of a special needs child is often a very sad and lonely place to be.  More so when you realize how very little you have in common with your friends anymore.  If you're friends with a mom to a special needs kiddo know that we don't like having to bail on plans.  Know that we want to visit and spend time with you.  It just doesn't always work when it's scheduled.   Don't feel bad sharing your child's accomplishments with us.  We don't want you to censor yourself in that way.  Try to see if there is an alternative plan that we could all do.  We realize it's hard.  Really we do and we appreciate your effort and understanding. 


Michaele said...

I think your bog is a wonderful way to give us an insight into your live as a parent. Unique in many ways and the same in many more thanks for your openness.

Sarah said...

Thanks Michaele!