While I’d like to think that I'm the master of scheduling your life full of fun, these days it’s not that simple. With therapy, school, doctor’s appointments, activities (times 3 kids), work, and so on... our structured life is generally quite packed to say the least! If I’m being honest, we could really benefit from 10 extra hours a day (and 3 extra days a week!).
The truth is when it comes to activities - from sports to art classes, the options are plentiful for those who are neurotypical, or don’t struggle with any significant developmental delay or sensory issue. For those who require just a little more like yourself (even though the variety is gradually increasing), it’s pretty few and far between that opportunities come up. Most often these events or classes are scheduled once a month and by the time I find out about them or my brain has time to figure out how to schedule our lives to make it happen - we’ve missed the opportunity. Rats!
But not this weekend Addie!
The Beatles said it best with “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
Addie, we are blessed with friends who love you fiercely, and continue to keep us posted on fun things happening within our special needs community - even if they don't have a special needs child themselves! That's pretty awesome Ad!
We recently found out about a special needs dance class in our area! With not one, but two of our friends sharing information with us about this dance class, I thought surely we needed to try this!
Now in my true “mom’s crazy busy, and juggling a lot of schedules fashion”, I missed the first date to register, but we were able to sign up for the following month and this weekend it was finally time for class!
As we made our journey to this new studio there was no hiding your uneasiness. You are very aware of your surroundings, and we were headed into what was unfamiliar territory for you. You started in with your whining cry showing us that anxiety was setting in.
Running late (per usual), we rushed in quickly giving you zero time to process any of the new surroundings, or ease into this whole adventure. Sorry baby girl, that was not my intention. Lucky for us your anxiety seemed to dissipate, and curiosity was taking over. We’ll take it!
Class had already started, so I did my best to nudged you in. Your stimming was coming rather quickly at this point as you walked around examining the room and navigating through people.
Not 100% sure about all this, you spent the first half of class In and out of the room, but you seemed to always find your way back to the group.
Equipped with a special needs teacher, plenty of volunteers, toys to entice participation and open hearts (I see where they found their name), this class was darn near perfection!
Feeling every bit like Goldie Locks and her hypersensitive auditory system, the music was not too loud, not too quiet, but just right! Oh, wait maybe that’s not exactly how the story went, but you get my point.
You explored and moved at your own pace, and even found great fun in the floor to ceiling giant mirrors! I mean what could possibly be better than one Addie making funny faces? Two Addie’s making fun faces! Score!
By the end of class you seemed to feel more comfortable with me coming into the room, and they were gracious enough to allow me to do so.
After a few minutes of us dancing together, I was reminded of our predictably unpredictable life. You started requesting “a shoes, a shoes, a shoes.” I thought your attention span had hit the finish line and you were just done, but the class was nearly done so I kept encouraging you to keep moving to try to stick it out to the end!
That’s when it happened. My mommy instincts were way off and “a shoes” meant I’m going to vomit! Insert you becoming Mount Vesuvius out of nowhere!
I tried to contain you to the corner of the classroom in an effort not to create a trail of vomit. Without skipping a beat, helpers from the class rushed over with a garbage can, cleaning supplies and a new shirt for you to change into. Not a single shocked or grossed out expression on anyone! Simply amazing!
Addie, I still have no idea why that happened. Anxiety, jumping around, you drank your drink to fast that morning, you just wanted a new shirt - I’m clueless. All I know is you knew it was going to happen and were politely telling me with “a shoes”. Duly noted my dear “a shoes” means you’re about to erupt! Got it! Thank God Dad wasn’t there, or it would have been two eruptions!
Having been a dancer for the majority of my life, I never thought these would be the classes I’d find myself attending today. The arts are very important to both mommy and daddy, and we are so happy that you have the opportunity to experience it in your own way.
So this weekend with suggestion from very dear friends we visited Open Arts dance studio where there motto is pretty perfect in my opinion “Honoring the HEART in the ARTS” not just some hearts Addie, but all hearts.
You’re noises, stims, even lack of perfect participation were all welcomed here!
I think you really enjoyed yourself baby girl, minus the whole vomit thing.
We are very proud of you Addie.