On Tuesday, Lola and I had a play date at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum with a friend and her son. The Children’s Museum is amazingly cool and I am excited that it is only a couple of miles away from our house. When we got there, we quickly realized the kids were on Spring Break as the place was a madhouse. It was rather loud and I worried about the noise being too much for Lola’s delicate senses. She retreated a bit in the beginning, but she soon adapted.
A few months ago I probably would have felt a tinge of sadness seeing all of the kids Lola’s age crawl and probably walk. But Tuesday, I didn’t focus on what she couldn’t do. Instead I simply looked around the museum for activities I thought Lola would like and believe me there was plenty she liked!
Not once did I feel anything but pure joy watching my daughter attempt to crawl in the padded baby area. I felt proud when I saw her reach out at something that excited her. I was at peace when I watched her happily giggle to herself, in her own little world, oblivious to the kid chaos going on around her. And I just smiled and said “my daughter has developmental disabilities” when a woman flashed me a scowl after I put Lola down next to her son in the “0-9 month” only play area. It was she who looked embarrassed after I told her Lola couldn’t crawl. She quickly snatched up her son as if Lola had the plague. I laughed and told Lola people could be so weird, but yet I didn’t let it get to me. I was happy we were in our own world. I feel honored to be in our own world.
Lola thoroughly enjoyed the museum although I’m not sure she was a big fan of the Carousel. To be quite honest, even I felt a bit queasy afterward.
After the museum, we went out for an afternoon snack. As I approached the counter to order our food, the cute redhead told me Lola looked “really out of it” and that she was “just staring off into space”. I kindly told her Lola had a vision impairment and again there was that look of embarrassment. I smiled and went on to order Lola’s cookie as she stumbled upon her words trying to make it right. Ironically enough, I actually thought Lola’s eyesight was really good that day!
The acceptance stage of having a child with special needs is a beautiful time. The linger of worries begin to subside, the ignorant comments from strangers just seem humorous, the medication and therapy sessions simply feel like part of the “routine” and a sense of calmness takes over the soul. This is a stage I had hoped would come sooner, but am just grateful it happened at all because many parents never get over the grief of having a child with special needs. Thankfully…I am not one of them.