We had a nice time this weekend and did something that we had not done for over 2 years!

And that is have an indoor get together!

We did have an outdoor party for the 4th of July last summer and then the COVID numbers began increasing pretty high in our area, so any more holiday gatherings became out of the question due to health issues that our family members have.

With all that being said…it was Michael’s birthday this weekend and we had a spontaneous gathering of some family.

Was it wonderful and fun?

Yes!

And now here is the but.

But we all know that our special needs children need some help/guidance when as to what to expect when there is a gathering or event. So, this fun time, required that guidance for Elizabeth.

For those who don’t already know, my daughter, Elizabeth, has special needs. She has global dyspraxia and sensory processing disorder ( SPD) this latter one can make gatherings that become too loud, long or crowded too much for her system to handle. So we need to talk through what to expect and give her the layout of the party or event so she can figure out when she can go to a quiet place and regroup, if she needs to.

And I must say that due to the fact that it has been SOOOO long since we had something, it almost required more. Which does make sense, doesn’t it?

So we ended up having a wonderful time celebrating this special day for Michael and Elizabeth had a great time. She ended up taking her break after cake and presents.

This got me thinking of when she was younger and in the deep throes of her disorders. The times she would cry all day or be unable to handle new things at all. The times that certain pacifiers, music, therapies were simply required in her day for her to be okay.

It was such a tough time and such hard work for us and for her to make it through a day.

I thought about this as I watched the news about Ukraine.

I thought about this as I watched these young moms take their children to safety. Some are in the car for hours seeking safety in another country while others hide deep in the earth in tunnels. Without food, water or any comforts.

And my heart breaks on a thousand different levels for them and the country of Ukraine.

But I cannot help but think of the moms who might have a child like Elizabeth. What do they do?

What happens when the child cannot have what they need to stay calm? Or the only foods that usually eat? Or the quiet they desperately need?

I can absolutely not imagine adding in the special needs element to the already life and death situation would be. Because it is a factor….for the mom and family traveling.

I pray for those moms…because I truly cannot imagine being in their reality with a younger Elizabeth. Her disorders are not ones she would wish to carry but they are part of her and hence part of what those with special needs children will have to cope with. Along with everything else they are facing.

My thoughts and prayers go out to them all and a special prayer to those who have that special child they are traveling with, sheltering with or just holding somewhere.

This is just something I have thought of because it really is the reality for some deep in those tunnels.

I pray strength for them.

We all get this because anyone who has special needs in their lives does.

Just some thoughts this week.

Michele Gianetti author of I Believe In You