We were going to watch fireworks this year, but we had to change our plans. Having a child with SPD means that we have to be flexible with our plans. With Bug’s need for structure, it means we have to have a backup plan for our plan.
We were going to go to a fireworks show on July 3rd, but the weather was threatening thunderstorms, so we decided it was best to stay home. Instead we had a super fun game night playing “Charades for Kids”. We thought we would try again the next night to see fireworks, but those plans got changed too.
We started the 4th at church, with an awesome worship service. It was a little longer than our normal church service, however, so Bug was already a little antsy from having to sit for so long in one place. That afternoon, my parents and Hubby’s grandmother came over to play. We just cooked burgers out on the grill, had some good food and relaxed here while Bug got lots of grandparent play time. We tried to keep it low key, but it proved to still be too much excitement for one little girl to handle. By late afternoon, she was showing signs of being overwhelmed. Her tactile sense was ultra sensitive and every little touch was hurting. She was becoming much less tolerant of things not going exactly as she intended (otherwise known as getting upset at the drop of a hat). She was losing her ability to focus on the simplest of tasks or instructions. All this, and we still had 3 hours to go before heading out to the fireworks!
So, we decided to step up as parents and make the tough call to NOT go see fireworks. I didn’t want to do that, as I knew Bug was looking forward to them, but I also knew she had a special day with Daddy planned for the next day, and without a good night of rest, that wouldn’t go well. Amazingly, she took the news well! I reminded her we had just seen fireworks for Memorial Day, and explained to her that we would spend a little more time having fun with the grandparents and then it was really important for her body to get rest so that she could enjoy her day with Daddy the next day. At moments like this, I never know if the disappointment will be more than she can handle, but she took it like a champ.
Today, she and Daddy are heading to the Nature & Science Museum where there is a TON of stuff for kids to enjoy. Hands-on, great sensory input and all around educational. She can run around, play in the sand, the water, make bubbles, play outside and have a great time! She had a good night of rest last night and is really looking forward to this day, so I hope it all goes well.
It’s hard to make choices like we did. We wanted to go see fireworks ourselves. I wanted to pack us all up with a picnic and glow sticks, go spread out on a blanket and watch her eyes light up as she watched the fireworks. I knew she wanted to see them too, and I didn’t want to disappoint her when this is a (mostly) once a year activity. At the same time, we had to decide if this one activity was worth having a few days of challenges. We’ve already been struggling this last week because last weekend was her Birthday Weekend (post coming soon), which was 3 days full of activities, late nights, and lots of emotions. We followed that with 3 late nights of Vacation Bible School at our church. It was all super fun, and we had a great time, but her body (and even ours!) was crying out for some down time. Some time to not have to rush anywhere at a certain time.
It’s all about balance, and finding that sweet spot between making sure we get enough activity and getting way too much. We have to be structured, scheduled, & have a plan yet be flexible enough to change that if the need arises.