Time to Diversify

Where we live, we have certain stores and activities close by and available to us. We have a local Autism Society Chapter. We have the ocean. We have a Walmart, a Michael’s, and a TJMaxx. We have to drive a little bit to get to a 4-screen movie theater. We have to drive even further for a Target, Old Navy, bowling alley, or an arcade. We have to drive a couple of hours to get to the big city stuff. Like a trampoline park.

IMG_3505We went in May last year, and The Boy had an absolute blast. But he was by himself, and after awhile, you realize it would be much more fun with friends. We talked about inviting his friend C and C’s brother and sister the next time we came, or possibly to celebrate their birthdays, as C and his brother are twins and have their birthday a month before The Boy’s. We talked about it several times with C’s mom, a friend of mine, because we would have to coordinate driving or possibly rent a vehicle big enough for all of us.

A couple of weeks ago, a picture popped up on my facebook feed from C’s mom. They were at the trampoline park. And I was miffed. We happened to be in the same town (two hours from home) that day, and my first thought was that The Boy was left out. It has been one of his most earnest wishes to go there with them, and we got nary a text about the trip?

And I have to admit that I’m still miffed, but I’ve mostly let it go, because it’s life and shit happens, and people aren’t as thoughtful as they could be. But mostly because I realized we need to diversify. The Boy doesn’t have enough friends, and we need to work on that, because depending on one family, one kid, is kind of sad, and rather hopeless when C’s mom is as scattered as she is (it’s not a knock – she really is incredibly scattered and disorganized, and she would be the first to tell you). So we’ll work on this, which is difficult for this introverted mom, but it needs to be done. We can’t live in a vacuum, and The Boy deserves to have some fun with friends.

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Dances, Dodgeball, and Decisions

The Boy is in 8th grade and has never been interested in any of the school dances – go figure. This past week, however, his school band had a Friday night “Bandathon” fundraiser, which was followed by dinner (pizza) and a dance.  Several weeks ago, I asked The Boy if he might be interested in staying for the dance…

“I’ll think about it,” he said.

In Boy-speak, this usually means no, kind of like when your mom said, “We’ll see,” back in the day.

When I brought it up again, I offered to chaperone if he wanted me to, and at that point he said, “I think I’d like to do that.”

!!!

I had no idea what type of dance this would be, so I thought I had better cover my bases, and ended up showing him how to slow dance with a girl in middle school, just in case the opportunity arose and he might want to ask one of his friends-who-are-girls to dance.

After the performance, and the pizza was inhaled, the band director spent the first hour of the “dance” reading off ticket numbers for prizes that had been donated for a raffle. He then turned on his computer, and played three or four songs over the speakers (a la “Cupid Shuffle”), started a game of dodgeball (??), and returned to calling off ticket numbers. That was the “dance”.

Dodgeball?

The important part was that The Boy had fun.  When the kids danced, he made some herky-jerky movements near them.  When they played dodgeball, he went out on the “court” and wandered around, throwing a ball when it was handed to him.  He got to show some of his hand-drawn pictures to his friends-who-are-girls, and play his DS a bit.  He was a happy camper, and that’s all that matters.

Fun Friday

The Boy and I have created a tradition called Fun Friday.  It was born out of some evening scheduling problems we had which basically boiled down to The Boy thinking I could drive him all over God’s Green Earth to … Continue reading