3 Guest Limit

Thursday, The Boy has his 8th Grade Celebration. When I first heard about it, I only heard the name and the date, not a description. I thought it was an end of the year dance for 8th graders, as is quite common.

It’s not.

It’s an awards/graduation ceremony, and at first I thought about us not going. The kids have to sit on the stage the entire time, and my experience with awards nights was that they drag on interminably. Not very autism-friendly. Plus, they are dictated to wear “Sunday clothes” (I hate that term), which for boys means a nice pair of pants and a collared shirt. Not The Boy’s preferred clothing, either.

But I consulted with his TA, and she seemed to think he would be fine, and that it shouldn’t last longer than an hour and a half. So, I sent in the RSVP that we would attend. Here’s the thing: they give the kids tickets, and each kid is limited to three.

I completely understand that there are families who will bring the entire extended family (and usually air horns) to an event like this, and there is limited space. I get that. But three?

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What if a kid has parents who are divorced and remarried? Who gets to go?

What if a family has 3 children or more? Who gets to go (or pays for a babysitter)?

What if a family has 2 parents and 2 grandparents that attend their only grandchild’s events like ours?

The stepdad bows out and gives up his seat so both grandparents can go, that’s what happens. And even though I know it’s doesn’t bother The Man too much, it still kinda stings. And rather than being a celebration, it becomes a compromise, which kinda ruins the whole thing. Shame on the school that can’t accommodate families when all they want to do is celebrate their child. Together.

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.