Bringing my son to places with other kids his age has long been a source of anxiety for me. It was only recently that I braved bringing my son to the indoor play area in our local mall. So when we were invited to a friend’s kid’s birthday party at My Gym (think Gymboree), I promptly freaked the F out. After calming down I called my friend and ran my concerns by her, and she was wonderful and supportive and suggested I call the facility. Another minor freak out later, I once again calmed down and spoke to one of the gym workers. It went roughly like this:
“Hi! My Gym! How can I help you?”
“Hi…mynameisGloriaandIhaveaquestion.” Employee tries to interject and I talk over her. “My son was invited to a friend’s second birthday party, but I’m afraid to bring him. He has a muscle disease and can’t do everything that other kids can do. He also has to wear braces so he can’t take his shoes off, would you guys be okay with him keeping his shoes on? Also, is it possible that he can participate in at least one activity? I don’t want to bring him and make him sad that he can’t play. Also, I don’t want him to feel left out…”
“Ma’am, relax!” I can hear her smiling. “We are comfortable that your son will have fun. He can totally leave his shoes on. Please bring him, he’ll have a wonderful time I promise!”
She was so warm and wonderful, I immediately RSVP’ed and didn’t freak out again. Fast forward to party time – we arrived fashionably late, and had the best time. Harry was included in everything without being made to feel “special”. (Does that make sense? It wasn’t his birthday, so I didn’t want the attention, and I also in general don’t want him to get special treatment.) He surprised me with what he could do! Harry jumped on a trampoline, played in the ball pit, and climbed on the stairs – all with my help of course. I was quite tired after the party!
The people running the gym did it right. They remembered my phone call, and while they paid attention to all of the children, they gave us what we needed to participate. We will definitely be back! I think it was good motivation for Harry to see other kids and what they were doing.
Enjoy some pictures of The Man playing!
He’s got his treat bag and he’s ready to go!