Field Day No Way


Tomorrow is the first grade Field Day at our school.  The children WALK from school to the middle school for relay races and games then walk to the pool for lunch and swimming and then return to school.  Guess What? Max ain’t goin…

Not allowing Max to participate in an activity violates just about every single thing I believe in, want for him or hope to happen.  We rarely, if ever, say no.  I wrote about a birthday party we declined a few months ago out of exhaustion and common sense realizing it was a very minor event.  Tomorrow is a big deal for the whole school… its fun, its exciting and all the kids in Max’s class have been talking about it for the last few days. Hun and I debated the issue for a while and he was even willing to take off work to go with Max. I am not certain he is in full agreement with Max not going but I made the final call after speaking at length to his teacher and aide and a few good friends.

The school was more than willing to accommodate Max.  They arranged a bus, said I could come if I wanted to even though parents are not allowed and told his aide that she would have to go in the pool with him if he wanted to “swim.”

These were all great suggestions and maybe next year we will take them, but its just too hard for him to have fun.  He would be riding the bus alone while everyone else was walking, running relay races would be physically exhausting on grass and potentially even more hard emotionally and psychologically and forget swimming – he can’t swim and does not want to be the only kid in the pool being carried around by a teacher.

He is pretending that he is happy to have a day off from school but I know he is disappointed.  He knows why he isn’t going and he is putting on a good show for everyone especially me I think.

Once we decided he wasn’t going I felt a bit relieved that he didn’t have to struggle so much.  I am hopeful that the first grade brains will forget all about it by Monday so that he doesn’t have to hear the kids talking too much about it.  Its like not having a date to the prom.

Maybe we don’t have to visit this issue next year.  Maybe he will be so much stronger – in mind and body- that he will go.  Who knows?

Sometimes I write for myself, sometimes I write to tell a story and sometimes I write in case anyone else might be reading   (which I suspect not too many are.)  Tonight, I think I am writing to all the other parents just to let them know that I think they should feel extra thankful tomorrow while packing the paper bag lunches and bathing suits.

I don’t want to be these other parents nor do I want to trade with them.  If I did, then I wouldn’t have the life I have and the family I am blessed with.  However, I know most of them are mindlessly sending the kids off to school – not even considering the miracle of a simple 3-legged race and the joy of running through the field on a warm summer day.  These are amazing things.

4 Responses so far.

  1. Lori Rubin says:

    Max is a blessing which I am thankful for always. If I had known in advance, I would have taken the day off and we could have had a special Aunt Lori day…though that isn’t the same as field day. I know it is a big deal at Hilary’s school as well. I try really hard not to take what we have for granted. Some days are just hard. Know we are there to support each other! With love…

  2. Lorna says:

    Such a hard call. So, how did things turn out? Did he get to go this year? And my word, what a smart trouper for being so understanding! Kids with special needs learn such patience. If a ‘regular old kid’ were told ‘no’ about something like that at such a young age, imagine the tantrums 🙂

    • wearingcostumes says:

      Hi there – thanks for reading- Yes, Max and Hun went to Field Day and had a great time. Hun remarked that it was so terrific how at this age all the kids just do things together and move from one person to the next – no groups, no politics, just play. I often think about what you said regarding patience. Max has the very normal small supply of patience when it comes to getting things like snacks, TV and video games… but man, does he have patience with the big things in life – the kind of things the rest of us have no patience for!

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