Are You a Pill?

Do you ever look at yourself and say, “I am such a pill?”

Because I said this to myself today at Charlie’s last day of school party. Three autism classes joined in for a minion bash to celebrate the end of school and it was amazing. The teachers and aides had decked their hallway of the elementary school to look like minion heaven, basically.

I can’t even stress the level of decorating, planning, and crafting that went into this party. Balloons! Silverware bundles that looked like minions with which to eat the banana splits! Handmade minion hats for every kid! A minion photo booth! Soda bottles decorated like minions! Pin the eye on the minion!

It was unreal, and the kids loved it.

And I loved it. Except near the end when I felt a little like I had autism because there was a lot of noise and energy in those rooms and I wouldn’t have minded just a tad less volume among the minions.

Anyway, there was a moment when I looked at the decor and the teachers leading the myriad games and I thought, “There was a time when this would have made me crazy. Angry, even.”

It may be that all these years of survivalist living have done a number on me. For a long time after Jack was born I felt like we were up a creek without a paddle. The harder family life became for me, the more I became irrationally bothered by fancy parties and elaborate celebrations. Just living had become so unmanageable, that seeing someone else succeed at something so frivolous as throwing a party kind of infuriated me.

“I can’t even go anywhere, ever, in public with my child and expect normal, decent behavior, and these people who are gifted with the party-planning gene have the time and energy to spend on something so unnecessary, so fleeting,” I would think with vitriol. “It’s ridiculous.”

Meanwhile birthday parties for my kids were simple to the point of being puritanical. Partially because life with a profoundly delayed child is all-consuming, and partially because I was not born with the party-planning gene.

But today I opened my eyes to the care, the creativity, and the goodwill that went into that minion party. Miss Angie and the rest of the crew put a lot of time and love into that minion party for a bunch of children with autism.

I was a pill about fancypants parties before, you guys. But today, I wasn’t. I saw that party for what it was: a big, happy celebration of my son and all his unique and wonderful peers.

  
 

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