Sunday my daughter had the chance to participate — as part of a signing choir — in performing the National Anthem at an Atlanta Braves game on Sunday. She did terrific and it was a joy to see her do well.
We had to get there unusually early – 12noon for a 1:35 game – so imagine my concern knowing my son wanted to go but then I immediately wondered how he would do for the day knowing we had leave the house 11:00 that morning. I immediately tried to figure out an exit strategy for when I was there at the stadium. She should be able to stay, I thought to myself but as is true with a lot of families with special needs, a sibling often has to give a little (and a lot) into what is best for their sibling, and that is especially true in public places and doubly true in croweded public places for her brother.
By the time she was done performing and getting to the general admission seats changed in clothing appropriate for hot weather (the signing choir uniform is long sleeve black shirt, black pants) he was ready to go. This did not surprise me. Luckily a friend came to the game and was willing to leave around the 3rd inning to take him with her (what can I say, I have great friends) so my daughter could stay and enjoy more of the game.
Until then my son couldn’t be persuaded into watching the game. So it was, as many times before, my duty to keep him from wandering (his phone wasn’t working) and keep him safe from climbing and exploring crevices (which is his thing). While I was doing this on Sunday, it dawned on me that I spend a fair amount of time doing this exact thing:
We found a spot in the walkway to the seats, tucked away under a beam. He played on my phone after he was done climbing on the beam above my head and I snapped this picture. A hundred (or more) people passed by us and gave us that puzzled look. You know the one; the one that has them wondering what he did to get in trouble to be sitting out of the game. Or it’s the one that looks at me, back at him, then back at me and tries to figure out exactly what is the problem. We leave them confused most days and that’s okay by me.
It didn’t bother me, really. In the past he has done so much worse there wasn’t even an option for us to stay or even go out like this, if I’m honest. We used to spend a lot of time not doing things as a family that him isolating in the middle of doing something seems like a small price to pay for him to actually attend an event with family.
It’s one of those things You Never Think You’d Do but then you have a kid (or more) that just don’t do things like other people and you adjust. Tomorrow’s adjustment will probably change to Another Thing I Never Thought I’d Do.
We just make it up as we go along and Do Things We Never Thought We’d Do. Because that’s what I do. That’s true for you too, right?