The joy of normalcy

by arianne

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With last Friday being my middle child’s 4th birthday, I figured it would be much like every other year.  We have a plan of a fun day, a fun party with just family, but the plan rarely happens and it usually ends up in tears and screaming and my husband and I wishing the night would just end already.  It’s not that I am being pessimistic, it’s just what our lives have always been like.  Parties, holidays, birthdays.  We don’t really know what those are like for normal families.

With autism always looming overhead, like that relative you wish didn’t come to every family event, yet is ALWAYS there making the whole room miserable, we have grown accustomed to parties not being very party-ish.

We didn’t realize that birthdays could be exciting and spontaneous days where every little whim can be catered to without tantrums and over-stimulation.  Where a party could be fun, and joyous and–dare I say–relaxing.

This year, for the first time ever in our family, we had a fun birthday.  The day was peaceful, and filled with decorating, baking, wrapping and smiles.  I was able to make my middle child feel like the KING he deserves to feel like, and all of us had so much fun.  It was a perfect day.

After the family had gone home and the kids were in bed, I was reflecting on just why it was so fun.  What had we done differently?  I couldn’t place my finger on it.  You see–we never realized what we were missing before.  Which is good, I guess.  But OH were we missing out!  Over the last 7 months, with all that we have done for our children…the diets, the therapies, the supplements, the praying, the crying, the waiting, the detoxing.  All of it is working.  All of it has made a difference in helping these kids be their best selves.  In helping them relate to each other, be able to go to the grocery store without freaking out, to attend a more mainstream school, and yes, to have a happy birthday.

What more could I ask for?

My oldest son has a birthday this Friday, and we are hoping on another fun, relaxing day.  But even if that doesn’t happen, and it turns out to be the difficult days we have grown so used to, at least we had a real party last week.  For one day, as a family, we felt the joy of normalcy.

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