While I still wish play for my children could be as spontaneous and taken for granted as it was for me when I was a kid, I've decided to make the most of the Play Date. In charge of making arrangements myself, I am able to pick what I think will be an ideal time, setting, duration and even guest. It allows for a great deal of control over the social situation.
We had two for each child over the long weekend. I'm so glad to report that my blog will not end in a silver lining today because it is unnecessary. Everything went incredibly well, not only for the children, but also for me. Our Saturday venue for C.S. was arranged by his "friends group" facilitators. This Saturday, instead of meeting at the doctor's offices, we met at the home of one of the other families. While the children practiced playing appropriately with one another, I got to sit down at a kitchen table and chat with the other two mothers who I had not had a chance to really meet yet.
How wonderful. How supremely enjoyable. They were amazing women. Kind, welcoming and so perfectly understanding. (She even offered snacks my son could eat!) How perfectly supportive it can feel to just speak to someone who understands the trials you face so well. Smiling and hopeful, these veterans of the Spectrum had realized their place on it much earlier than I and had obviously faced much more difficult trials. I was glad to have found them and humbled by the experience.
I also have to admit to a small but somewhat understandable worry — after hearing how one's daughter climbed up a ladder, across the roof and down a chimney and the other's son was diagnosed without a battle due to his repetitive behavior at 16 months — my own challenges seem so small next to these. I have to wonder if although having found a wonderful community, whether we'll find ourselves on the fringe of it. High-functioning does seem to place you on the fence in so many places.
We'll see I guess, because I plan to call the local Mom and meet for coffee. I'm looking forward to more and more play dates for all of us!