Of my twins, Wilma is typically the “higher functioning” of the two, autism wise. She’s the one who didn’t get kicked out of public school. She’s the one who can have a conversation with you with relative ease even if she doesn’t look at you. She’s the one who can generally run an errand or walk through the neighborhood without a horror show ALWAYS happening. Her meltdowns are severe, but relatively rare these days. Except….. at her own Bas Mitzvah party.
I planned a 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm dinner event in a park, half a year after she turned 12, so that we could be outdoors with fresh air, with a playground to which my kids could escape (and all of their friends with special needs), and so that it could be informal (read: budget of $500 and not a penny more). I rented the covered picnic pavillion, paid for $200 worth of pizza, an $80 cake, bought $100 worth of sodas and papergoods, sent out the facebook invites and the actual written invites to the few facebook holdouts, and prayed. I prayed a lot. I had her write a speech. It was short and sweet, much like Wilma herself. *I* wrote a speech—- just a few “Wilma-isms” I’ve collected over the years. I allowed her (and Fred) to wear whatever they wanted.
The first hour of the party was perfect. Gorgeous weather, fun with friends, I gave my speech and my husband gave his. Wilma didn’t want to give hers. She pushed me and yelled. I kept a smile on my face and offered to give it for her. She refused. A few minutes later she went to the bathroom. I QUICKLY gave her speech while she was in the bathroom and told the 50 people present “shh don’t tell!” She had no idea, so even that went off without a hitch. Non Jewish public school friends were schmoozing with Jewish community friends—- beautiful (and so rare in our community!)
In my next post I’ll describe the second hour of the party. It was a teeny bit different than the first part. It’s 1:20 am now— have you noticed I haven’t been making the time to blog? Life is busy. This party happened a week ago already. Suffice it to say—– I needed that week to recover. More to come!