April 14, 2007

Disco Ball Sadness

Saturday. Jack was invited to a birthday party today at the Skating Place. Since Jack's diagnosis 2 years ago I have not let him skate. It just doesn't seem logical to me to put someone with balance issues, a skull that has been fastened back together with screws from brain surgery, and a growing tumor in their head on roller skates and say, "Be careful out there." I have not budged on this issue a bit, until today. Jack's class is full of such sweet kids and they seem to really have a special bond. All week Jack has pleaded to go to this party, and I never gave him a hard "no," just a "we will see," and then this morning my afternoon was suddenly empty due to a couple of rescheduled appts. So I had no way out. I should have just said no from the beginning, but for some reason it seemed so important to him, so I waivered.
Today I told him that we could go, but that I would have to hold his hand as he was skating, and we would just go around a couple of times. He said that would be great and that he just wanted to go to "visit."
So we got there, he got some roller skates on and together we ventured out to the rink. Due to the rolling wheels on his feet he couldn't really even get his balance once. I was basically holding his arm and he was either straining to get back up to his feet, or headed down to the ground. We rounded the first corner and I we were both worn out. So we decided to take a break and sit on the edge. There was no way he was going to even be able to stay up for a millisecond, with or without my help. So I asked him if he thought we should just head back to the starting gate and take off those obnoxious skates and play some games while waiting for the cake and presents. He looked up at me with tears streaming down his cheeks, and that set me off, tears are now streaming down my cheeks. He wanted to skate, but just physically didn't have the balance necessary due to the tumor to pull it off. So there we are in the light of the disco ball sitting on the edge of the rink both crying. It was pitiful. Pitiful I tell you. I felt like a big goofball.
We did have a fun time playing games and he beat me playing air hockey, he won enough tickets to get a couple of prizes, ate some yummy scooby-doo chocolate cake, and then the mom starts passing out tickets to the bouncy house. Did I mention I don't really let him in bouncy houses? Well I don't really let him in bouncy houses. Since when is there a bouncy house in the skating rink? So things got a bit ugly again, and I just decided it was time to throw in the towel. We both left the skating rink with our heads down wishing we had never come. Actually I was wishing we had never come, Jack was just wishing I hadn't come. He is pretty sure I ruined his day. I should have ruined his day 3 days ago and said "No, I am sorry we are not going to the skating rink." Live and Learn.


Sarah said...

*sigh* Stinky old brain tumors and balance issues. That stinks for everyone. I'm sorry he was sad, and I appreciate you watching out for his punkin' noggin, and even though it was no fun for anyone at all, I think you made the right decision all the way around.

Amber Joy said...

It was - as always - a blessing to see you this morning. I'm a few days behind on your blog, since I was out of town.
I thought I had it rough as a kid (I was the fat, nerdy kid from out of state), but I cannot imagine what it must be like for little Jack. To blatantly miss out on the daily activities that most mothers don't have to bat an eye at must be disheartening. The poor little dear. I am sorry you had to have a cry party at the skating rink. Bah hum bug.

Anonymous said...

Tammy, you are such a good mom. You have had to deal with so much over the last two years with Jack's tumor and trying to balance the attention you give to him and the attention you give to the other kids. You have had to make so many hard decisions, and you have done it with such a kind spirit and a loving heart, which is exactly how you made the decision about no skating and no bouncy house. This tumor really stinks, but Jack is lucky to have such a wonderful mommy that looks out for him even when it hurts. Bless you for being strong even when those tears of his were breaking your heart. -Lauren Oglesby

Lisa said...

For what it's worth, Tammy, I think you did right by Jack. He soooo wanted to go, and he would've always wondered (and probably fantasized) about the party. You were kind to take him, you held him up when he would've splatted, and you shared tears with a broken-hearted kid. That's what makes you such a good mom.
So, now you both know that skating is not a good idea. Life is hard, especially for those with special needs. But that doesn't mean we stop the adventure or the journey. We just have to alter it a bit.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jack- skating is overrated! Go find a BB gun and head for the backyard for some real fun...

Sorry, Tammy- sometimes diversion is the best policy- ha!