This weekend we had my daughter's first birthday party. I couldn't stand the thought of more people invading my home (10 therapists a week is enough, thank you), so we had the party at Gymboree. I thought it would be fun and involve no work. I though that Moe would have a good time too. He's into climbing everything right now so that would be good. And he used to love it there when he was a baby and we had time to do things other than therapy.
Well, guess what? Autism sucks because it is unpredictable. Moe had a major meltdown the moment we stepped in the door. Fortunately, none of the other guests had arrived and he calmed down in a few minutes. He spent his time on the outside, bouncing on the trampoline in the corner or running around the edges with a juice box. Didn't even participate when it was time for bubbles or the parachute. For a while he obsessed over the drinking fountain until he couldn't find anyone to pick him up anymore. He exhausted his grandparents who were kind enough to chase him around the room so my husband and I could spend a little time with our daughter who is going to be one year old and deserved a day all to herself. So we could watch her eat her first bite of cake.
We call her Jelly Belly. She doesn't have a lot of friends of her own. We know a lot of people Moe's age, leftover from the playdates we used to be able to attend. They came, and some of them have baby brothers and sisters now, so they came too. Family and old friends came and there was a nice crowd. But any time the group gets together, I'm reminded of how different he is and we are. I'm reminded how much I love three year olds and how they talk and how they follow each other around the room in packs, looking already like teenagers. I'm reminded of how I've been robbed of that time with my little boy.
I'm reminded of how much autism sucks.
Jen writes about life with a baby girl and an almost three year old son with autism on her personal blog, Anybody Want a Peanut? She also really loves cake, something she and Moe have in common. You can follow her on twitter, @wantapeanut.