Saturday, March 10, 2012
It's our normal.
So, I totally forgot it was Maddie's little dance show today - to show the parents how well they are doing in the class, to be honest, if I remembered, I would not have brought Owen and Ben.
It's not that I don't think they can handle it, for them it is a new environment, it is very loud, very crowded and a total break in their routine= Autistic disaster. I knew something was different when the studio was FULL of parents - and my heart immediately sunk - bad mother, I totally forgot. The last time we went to Maddies performance in December, the boys were awful. My father in law had to leave with Ben as he was loosing his mind, and Owen didn't want to listen he wanted to dance with his sister - which for sure, is super cute, but not for other parents who are there to watch their child - not Owen.
So, as Maddie walked in the classroom with her peers, I went up to the teacher, and I asked her if she would mind (as my voice starts to get shaky, because once again Vanessa cry at the drop of a hat appears) if we watched the kids from outside the door, as my 2 boys have Autism, and this environment is just too much for them. I could feel my eyes getting teary as I finished saying it, the other parents could hear our conversation and I felt their looks of pity - but try to understand.
The teacher understood, and as Maddie went in with everyone else's parents, I sat outside the glass door with her two brothers - and all I could say to myself to calm down was, "this is our normal". This is going to be our normal for the rest of our lives, making adjustments where we can to avoid screaming, tantrums, and sensory processing issues - this is hard on all 3 of my kids as much as it is hard on me. I wondered what Maddie was actually thinking watching us through the glass door - is she too young to feel different? embarrassed? has she started to catch on that our family dynamics are different then her friends? Why was her mommy sitting outside the door and no one elses?
As much as in the moment it was hard, these are the types of changes and adjustments we are going to be making all the time, and I believe if I keep instilling in my children it doesn't matter what other families do, this is OUR normal, I am really hoping this way that we live our lives will always be their normal and they are emotionally mature to handle it.
I left the dance studio taking pride in my daughter for dancing for other parents, and her little waves to her brothers through the glass door, and I also took pride in my boys for accepting this area we made for ourselves, and cheering for their sister. Lastly, I left the studio today realizing that even though I show on the outside I am a strong advocate, I still and will always continue to be faced with emotional realizations that impact our family in all kinds of different ways - and this is our normal.