The weather here has been beautiful, bordering on tropical, so we decided to get out of the house today and go to the park. It was a trip that made me reflect a lot on Danny's SPD and how far he has come.
Danny rode his tricycle the entire way and I couldn't get over how well he did. Last year, he had to stop many times along the 4-block route, and he pedaled really slowly. It was hard for him to coordinate, and almost impossible for him to pedal and steer at the same time. Today, not only could he steer, but he pedaled pretty fast and didn't need to stop unless his wheel got stuck on something.
Then, once we got the park, Danny begged his dad for a "puppy under," also known in some circles (meaning any people who do not belong to the Pancake clan) as an underdog. I couldn't believe it. Years ago, when we first began therapy, Danny couldn't stand to be on a swing for more than a few seconds. Now he can pump his legs and actually enjoys swinging high. It's a pretty huge accomplishment here in our house.
A kid from Danny's class happened to be at the park as well, which delighted Dannyno end.Too bad K, who was with a couple other kids, one being his brother, was not so delighted to see Danny. Danny wanted so badly to play with K, but K was a total brat the entire time. He called Danny a "weirdo" and told him to quit following him. Danny wasn't even being inappropriate at all. He did run around a lot and made some funny robot noises, and ok, yes, at one point he ate some grass, but still, I don't think the comments were necessary. I was also surprised that K's mother never reprimanded him or encouraged him to "play nice" as I would have done had Danny been leaving someone out. I had to really bite my tongue to keep from snapping at the kid.
My first reaction was outrage and then, I freaked out worrying that Danny would never have friends and that his SPD would make him an outcast forever. But then, I looked at it a bit more realistically. I have no idea why K was so rude to Danny, because seriously, Danny was not at all out of line at the park. Perhaps, I realized, this was more about K being kind of a crabby brat than about Danny being unable to make friends. And then, I also remembered how on Tuesday at the kindergarten preview, Danny played for almost an hour with two friends from school, one of whom is a girl whose mother has told me comes home calling Danny her friend.
So, you will all be proud that today, for once, I have decided not to catastrophize. I am choosing to focus on the positive aspects of our trip to the park and on all the progress Danny has made. And I know I need to remember that stuff like this happens to ALL kids, whether they have special needs or not. I mean, I was teased a whole lot in grade school by a couple of really mean girls (one of whom I found on Facebook the other day. Is it totally evil of me that I felt just a twinge of glee when I saw that she had gained at least 100 pounds? This, the girl who called me fat in junior high? I repented afterwards. But still, I'm only human.)
Anyway, I am trying really hard to keep a sense of persepective with regards to my kids. But it sure isn't easy when I think someone is being mean to them!