It certainly has been a while since I have posted but circumstances beyond my control i.e. so many illnesses, have made that happen. I got to thinking today about an Easter so many years ago. We were on vacation to a place in Florida, it was a great place, nice and hot and filled with many activities to do. Of course we were touch limited in our ability to attend a lot of those functions as Elizabeth was so young and therefore so much more in the throes of the SPD that made her so afraid always.
I can remember telling John that when we got back home from the trip, we had to decide about her preschool. At the time we were deciding if she could attend one run by a friend of ours. I was so afraid to let her attend, as she was still pretty non-verbal at the time, so the decision was not one that could be taken lightly.
Anyway, we were enjoying the vacation very much, as the sun and sand were so calming to Elizabeth’s system, that she was quite peaceful and content. It was on the day of the Easter egg hunt that something pretty neat happened.
As you can guess, we were on vacation at a rather busy time so the place looked like it had approximately one million other families there and they each had several children so there were, by my overly anxious calculations, about three million children waiting to pounce on those plastic little eggs hidden by the staff of the hotel. ( In truth, I overstate the amount, but I dare any mother of a child with SPD to deny that situations seem SO MUCH BIGGER AND THREATENING than they really are.) I was waiting there behind the rope, holding Elizabeth’s hand, while John was with Emily at her age groups egg hunt. Now truth be told, I fully intended to go into the hunt with Elizabeth, event though the sign said it was children only. (I like to think that signs when concerning Elizabeth simply do not apply to me)
So as we waited for the whistle to go, I was getting so nervous, I wanted Elizabeth to have fun, to be a kid, but God no, not to break down in the rush and crush of other kids. I hated to think of having to take her out crying. It was at this point that one of the staff came over to kind of ramp up the excitement of our group by saying “who is ready to get some eggs?” ” Get ready kids, the whistle will blow soon” and etc. I must have looked a bit nervous at this point because she came over to me to see how Elizabeth was doing, so I took the moment to tell her that I probably would be going in with my daughter. This lady looked at me and kind of through me for a moment and said “Sometimes mom, you just have to let them go” I was kind of struck by that as John and I had just been talking about preschool and etc…
I took a pause, and trust me words from others typically cannot sway a mom with a child with special needs who knows what is best for their child, but for some reason, hers did.
When the whistle blew, I let her go into the hunt alone, I watched with the other moms….I was scared, anxious and jumpy but I watched her get those darn eggs…by herself and amid near total egg hunting craziness. It was really an amazing moment for me. I learned alot about Elizabeth then, what she wanted to do she did, what she wanted to accomplish, she did. I learned then to try not to be the force that held her back because I was afraid. I learned to step back just a bit. I watched her succeed. and I learned that day….when we returned home, Elizabeth went to that preschool. and loved it
Thank you to the lady who saw a nervous mom, who needed some encouragement… thank you for those words that changed my thinking…thank you for taking the time to talk to us…. My thoughts today go to all on this journey with special children, may someone’s words, or actions be that message you are looking for.
In truth, each year as I see those plastic eggs make their way to the shelves for Easter, I relive those moments and those words…Messages take many forms, I hope yours comes to you. It can happen when you are looking for it the least. Hope you have a good week.